Saturday, January 14

The Bible - Forever Current

I have seen a limit to all perfection, but your commandment is exceedingly broad.” (Psalm 119:96)
All the best things in life have a limited shelf life. See the last two posts . . . 

Now, let's consider the antithesis found in the second half of the verse, "but your commandments are exceedingly broad." In short, whatever limits even the best things of this life suffer, these do not affect God's Word. The Bible rises above, yes, supersedes all the best things man can know on this side of eternity. It goes beyond all attainments, intellectual prowess, physical strength, or national superiority. 

Scripture Teaches It's Own Boundlessness

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” (Isaiah 40:8). Then Peter reinforces this truth, “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.” (1 Peter 1:24–25). Jesus also taught, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away" (Mark 13:31). There is an endurance in the Bible not to be found even in the existence of heaven and earth. Men tend to live as if all that we see is eternal and God's Word dispensable. But the opposite is true. This life is transitory. The Word is eternal, without bounds.

What does this mean for the Church, for the Christian?

1. Devotions. At least that's what so many of us call it. Believing God's Word to be boundless should change the way we view "reading" the word of God. At New Years many are prompted to read through the Word of God, and rightly so. Preachers encourage, perhaps even cajole their congregations because so few know the Book. And why? Is it not important? Well, you would think that this should be a fact beyond argument? And if so, would that not be enough to spur the brethren to be readers of God's Word? Still, that doesn't even come close to the kind of motivation that we find in this consideration, viz., that God's Word is boundless. My wife and I noticed as we were driving into Charleston, SC that there was a business named "European Hand Reader." Admitting ignorance re: what constitutes a "European" versus other kind of hand reader, we remarked how people really want to know the future. And they'll do just about anything or go anywhere and pay any price in order to know what is coming. But why won't they read the Book whose Author knows the end from the beginning? God's Word is boundless. Apparently most do not really believe that. And even the so-called Church does not seem to be immune to this tragedy.

2. Authority. Whatever lasts the longest, whatever endures naturally deserves to be heard. Many espouse the motto carpe diem, so they neglect Scripture and bank on today, its pleasures, its goals, its supposed solutions. One of the purposes of fulfilled prophecy in Scripture is to corroborate God's claims. No ones knows the future except God alone. God says of himself that he is One “declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’ . . . I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it” (Isaiah 46:10–11). Once that has been established, then it is incumbent upon thinking men (or Spirit empowered men) to pay attention to the truth. 

3. Worship. That the Eternal chose, yea invented language to communicate, that He placed all we need to know for salvation in relatively few words between two pieces of leather, and that its effect is not bound by time or restricted like a fashion should prompt our unending admiration of God's magnificent wisdom and glory!

Let me close with this consideration. Boundlessness signifies superiority to time, to place, to meaning and therefore to application. So rich is the import back of this term that it is hopeless to excuse our failure at reading, meditating and believing God's Word. The depth of God's eternal Word goes well beyond the pale of any pretender to last days wisdom. Let us bow in humble reverence before the One who gave us his commandments that are exceedingly broad.

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