The 119th Psalm which is rightly called “The Ode to the Word.” Here are 176 verses of the psalmist’s praise for the Holy Scriptures which are the source of life for the Christian. Peter said we are born again by the Word of God, which shows the indispensable nature of God’s perfect revelation. The Holy Spirit uses the truth to speak to the heart and with the Word He regenerates to make us new creatures in Christ.
Upon conversion, the Word does not stop its powerful influences. It also sanctifies us (John 17:17) which means it perfects us in the holiness of God. Throughout our Christian lives, we can never depart from its usefulness for without it we have no means to discover how we can be pleasing to God. The Word declares Christ who is the Son of God, and is the model of God’s expectation for every son of God. It is the revelation of precepts by which we are given understanding of all false ways (119:104).
All roads to successful, victorious Christian living run through the scriptures. There we find all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). The psalmist makes this same point repeatedly. Each section begins with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet which is God’s way of showing us His word is A-Z of divine revelation. Everything that can be said in English must be said with 26 letters from A-Z. Our Bible is God’s complete revelation so that everything God has to say to the human race is contained in these 66 books we call the canon of scripture. There are no other revelations that will be given. There is no outside source that will discover to us anything more God wants us to know. Paul wrote that scripture is able to furnish unto all good works, so there is no area that needs further elucidation to increase our understanding of Him and make the servant of God complete (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
The Bible’s internal claim holds great significance. It at once dismisses the doctrines of cults that are claimed authoritative by their extraneous revelations. When groups like the Mormons or Jehovah Witnesses knock on your door with a claim they have another testament, another communication from God, you can dismiss them at once without further investigation. They are deemed deceivers by this criterion alone. Likewise, those who seem to be more orthodox can be turned away. Pentecostals must be rejected because they seek more revelation through tongues, dreams, and visions. Roman Catholicism must be rejected because the traditions of their church are claimed to be as authoritative as scripture. One thing is abundantly clear about this psalm—the psalmist has no patience for anything considered more valuable than scripture. He finds in it all he needs.
As I write this article, there is a knock at my door. The Jehovah Witnesses are peddling their literature. To them I say verse 29: “Remove from me the way of lying.” I say to them verse 95: “The wicked have waited for me to destroy me.” I say to them verse 115: “Depart from me, ye evildoers: for I will keep the commandments of my God.” And finally I say verses 118 and 119: “Thou hast trodden down all them that err from thy statutes: for their deceit is falsehood. Thou puttest away all the wicked of the earth like dross: therefore I love thy testimonies.”
I advise you to love the Holy Bible as the psalmist loved it. Feast on it every day. It has the power to change you and make you righteous. Let nothing come between you and the Word. To do so is to let something come between you and God.
Pastor V. Mark Smith