God’s Perfect Word
Bible Reading: Psalm 19
A part of my job as a Training Specialist at Trojan Nuclear Plant was the writing of lesson plans and other training materials for Reactor Operators. The operation of a Nuclear Reactor is no simple thing, so there were many different lesson plans, each having to do with some aspect of controlling the power plant’s operation. Operating manuals and Nuclear Regulatory Control requirements formed the basis for these lesson plans, and as these were sometimes revised, there’d be a need to revise our materials. That’s why we staffed a couple of secretaries whose job it was to try to keep up in the typing and copying of all these revisions. It was a never-ending process, as there was always a need to improve on what had been written. Not so the Word of God. There’s no need for revision when it comes to God’s inspired Word, for its as perfect now as it will always be.
Psalm 19 speaks to the revelation of God to man. Verses 1-6 speak to what it referred to as God’s general revelation through the world. Verses 7-14 speak to His special revelation through His word. God has revealed Himself and His glory to all men through the world (i.e., creation). The heavens are spoken of, because every person can look to the sky and see what it is that God has created. The heavens speak, but without words or voice, to all people of His glory. General revelation by itself is sufficient to condemn, but not to save (Romans 1:19-20). It takes the words of Scripture—special revelation—to save a sinner.
Six statements are made in this Psalm regarding various attributes of God’s Word. Each statement affirms the Word to be “of the Lord.” The repeated use of that phrase reminds us of the divine origin of Scripture. The Bible is, as we’ve previously noted, inspired by God. Each of the six statements regarding Scripture speaks to a title, a characteristic, and a benefit. John MacArthur has noted how this Psalm is like Psalm 119 but in condensed form. He has also noted how the titles for Scripture used here (i.e., law, testimony, precepts, commandment, fear, rules) are used over and over again in Psalm 119. Collectively, these six statements constitute an incontrovertible declaration of the perfection and sufficiency of God’s Word.
We’ve not the space here to look at every one of these six statements, but let’s consider the first. “The Law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul” (Psalm 19:7a). The term Law speaks to the role of Scripture in speaking to us that which we need to know to live in right relationship to God. In that respect it is akin to God’s operating manual for us humans. That reminds us, of course, of the trouble we sometimes find ourselves in when we fail to operate things according to the instructions! The Law of the Lord is perfect. The thought here is not just that it is without flaw or error, which is true, but that it lacks nothing. It is comprehensive is its instruction to provide in every way what is needed to accomplish its objective. What’s the objective—“reviving the soul” (Psalm 19:7b). The term soul speaks to the inner person. The objective of Scripture is not just to clean us up on the outside, it’s reach goes far deeper than that. It is sufficient to revive and transform us from the inside out. To affect in us a total transformation from our inner most being that is then reflected in the way we think, do, and say!
The NT writers likewise spoke of this. As Peter wrote, “You’ve been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God” (1 Peter 1:23). And Paul, “And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers” (1 Thessalonians 2:13). I’ve got hundreds of books on my Kindle, and too many printed versions of books that fill my bookshelves or are stored away in boxes. Though human-authored books can educate, instruct, entertain, and even inspire us, none of them can come close to doing what the Bible can do, for the Bible alone has the power to save and transform. Someone came up with this acrostic for the Bible: Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. It is that, and in a perfect and sufficient way, and is therefore worthy of our devotion!
While other books inform, and some few reform, this one book transforms.A. T. Pierson
TAKE TIME TO BE HOLY
Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord;
Abide in Him always, and feed on His Word.
Make friends of God’s children, help those who are weak,
Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.
Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;
Spend much time in secret, with Jesus alone.
By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.
Take time to be holy, let Him be thy Guide;
And run not before Him, whatever betide.
In joy or in sorrow, still follow the Lord,
And, looking to Jesus, still trust in His Word.
Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul,
Each thought and each motive beneath His control.
Thus led by His Spirit to fountains of love,
Thou soon shalt be fitted for service above.