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October 2, 2020 7:00 pm
Dr. Layton Talbert of the BJU seminary faculty continues a doctrinal series entitled “God’s Word in Our Hands” from Genesis 1
Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. Let's listen to today's message preached by Dr. Layton Talbert of the Bob Jones University seminary. Have you ever had anyone indicate an unwillingness to trust something that you have said Mrs. question how many of you grew up as the youngest child and your family. How many of us are there, you know what I'm talking about right youngest child is typically the informer of the family and if there's one thing informer loves it's a scoop because you're so used to suffering with IDS. That's information deficit syndrome near the last one to find out anything about what's going on. The last one to know everything so that when you come across some fresh information.
You can't wait to pass it on. So when Bobby has to be taken out of the room at Sunday school, or better yet, when Bobby announces a Sunday school that his mother might be going to have twins, and his father isn't sure if they might need a new car and maybe they've need a new house because I don't know if they have room you can't wait to be the first to inform your family of this vital information and having at your command. An audience of people older than you, who are dependent on you is a heady experience for seven-year-old but the first time you happen to get something wrong the first time you unintentionally erroneously convey false information accidentally conveyed unintentionally convey erroneous information of the cruelty of childhood you are ever after, regarded as not entirely reliable and that's profoundly frustrating for an informer but even as adults when we when we know we are really telling the truth and people don't trust our words were hurt or indignant were insulted because because our words are an extension of our character and when people don't trust our words it reflects on what they believe about our character. You think God is any different or you think maybe he's little bit like us or do you think maybe we are a little bit like him in this regard, the more I study this book, the more I have become persuaded and seen evidence that God is profoundly jealous to be believed on the basis of his words alone part of God's passion to magnify his glory is his passion to magnify his integrity, and it's impossible to demonstrate your integrity apart from your words. So let's start here, God's trustworthiness is at the root of our confidence in all of his other attributes. Why because we would know almost nothing about him if he didn't tell us mean the general revelation of creation testifies to the existence of a being of great power and an glory.
Psalm 19 Romans one that only direct self revelation from God himself. What's what theologians call special revelation can tell us what he's like and what he's doing and that additional special revelation needn't be exhaustive, but it has to be reliable so if this being is not reliable and if what he tells us about himself is not trustworthy than we do not know God and cannot know God. That's why the Lord eagerly displays and jealously guards the integrity of his words, his reputation, his glory and our ability to know him as he is all depend on it. So God's trustworthiness is foundational, but God's trustworthiness is itself rooted in other attributes of God like truthfulness. The veracity of God simply means a God tells the truth all the time. He does not and cannot deceive and what he says God cannot lie a number of passages. There you know these are Bible doctrines. But what if he's mistaken what he unintentionally miss informs us. That's where omniscience comes in is of course all-knowing God's omniscience certifies the accuracy of God's veracity. God cannot be beat.
God cannot deceive but beyond that he cannot be deceived because he knows everything perfectly. But suppose he predicts or promises something that he fully intends to do that. He honestly meant to accomplish, but when it comes down to it, he just can't quite pull it off.
That's where his omnipotent steps and because God is all-powerful.
He cannot be thwarted in anything that he says he will do so. Reliability. Trustworthiness requires honesty and accuracy, and ability.
And God has these three perfectly.
But what if he chooses not to speak or what if his words are sore are vague and in some mystical language supernatural language that only a select few only a priestly hierarchy can understand or what if God's words are so esoteric or ambiguous that only a scholarly hierarchy can correctly interpret them for us to be meaningful. Trustworthiness then requires one last component and that's communicative nests, trustworthiness has to be demonstrated toward someone, and can therefore be displayed only in the context of a relationship with her was trustworthiness requires relationship and relationship requires communication God's trustworthiness doesn't mean anything. If we don't know what he says or can't really understand what he means. How else to engage is trustworthiness than by the correlation between what he says and the expectations that that creates and what he does. God is a flawless communicator. God means what he says that's veracity backed up by omniscience and omnipotence. But God also says what he means that clarity and both of those are essential for trustworthiness to be a fully functional attribute.
So God is always totally honest, fully informed perfectly able fundamentally clear and therefore his words are utterly trustworthy whether he is relating past history telling us what really happened in the past, or telling us what he is like his character, his attributes, or prophesying future events. This is what is going to happen or explaining what's going on around us, or explaining to us what's going on are happening inside of us were promising to provide our needs.
His words in all those areas are entirely totally trustworthy. So start where he does Genesis 1 because the biblical story begins by showcasing the trustworthiness of God's words may not be a passage that occurs to you in connection with this theme you what the Decalogue is right, the 10 Commandments we call them the Decalogue simply means 10 words did you know that the Bible opens with a Decalogue, a series of 10 words 10 statements from God.
In Genesis because 10 times Genesis 1 reads and God said, let such and such happened the first time.
Chapter 1 verse three God's words simply become reality.
And God said, let there be light and there was light.
Three times God's words are followed by ants and or so God created another words he proceeded to do exactly what he first said and God said, and then he did six times, God's words are followed by an elegant assertion of effortlessness and God said, and it was so that when Jewish translation renders this even more.
Matter-of-factly, God said, and that's how it was. So on one level, this language conveys and this is what were you just thinking about interest in Genesis 1.
This language conveys the creative power of God's words, that's true, but more basic truth. We tend to overlook here is that what God says happens the way God choose chose to create in the way God chose to record how he created hammer the .10 times over that his words are inherently reliable because God and have to create this way. Several pretty he could have simply thought things into existence and told us that's how he did it. He could've silently willed everything into being and told us that's how he did it but he spoke and it happened, he said, and it was he chose to create via words and he chose to tell us that that's how he did it so in the Bible's first chapter, God introduces himself to us as the one whose words dictate and define reality.
This is heady theology and there is very earthy practicality in this as well to the Bible opens with a record of creation.
The testifies not merely to God's power, but to the reliability of every word he speaks to what he says is exactly what he does what he speaks is exactly how it happens but the reliability of God's words in Genesis doesn't end in chapter 1, because at first Decalogue in Genesis 1 is followed by another statement from God. In Genesis 2, God commands the man and tells them don't eat of this tree.
If you do this is what will happen. A word from God is not reliably think Genesis 3 then puts those words to the test. The first challenge in human history to the trustworthiness of God's Words Took Pl. in Eden and when you strip it down to its bare essentials at the core of the first temptation was an attack on the trustworthiness of God's words. Those words just at that from Genesis to you strip everything else away at the heart of the fall itself was a decision not to trust God's words. Satan strategy unfolds in three stages.
First, he instills doubt about God's words by questioning their content.
Did God really say you can't eat of any of the trees in the garden secondhand sites disbelief in God's words by contradicting their content, you're not really die. You shall not surely die. Thirdly engenders distrust of God's words by maligning the motive behind them. For God knows in the day you eat of it you shall be as God's, knowing good and evil. That's what's really going on here, God is indivisible from his words, the Scripture shows that in so many ways. It was that was the whole point I had cut out don't have time. But God is indivisible from his words, the same attributes that the Scripture applies to God's person.
It applies to God's words directly the same response as the Scripture commands us to have towards God's person.
It commands us to have towards God's words and think of his titles he commemorates as he memorializes this eternally. In one of his own titles. He is the word.
This is really important to God, and you cannot undermine the reality of God's to the reliability of God's word without impeaching his character, and you know what happens. The first human sin is traditionally described as rebellion.
It was that, but not in the sense that we typically envision rebellion was much more subtle than that. It all came down to the to the decision to trust it all came down to the decision to trust someone else's words over God's to trust someone else's depiction of reality over God's you ever notice that Satan never directly urged disobedience. He never said go ahead take a bite. He never drew attention of the fruit he never talked about how tasty it was.
He never dangled it in front of Eve is a how do you know he might have well if he did God tell us, and that's the point, because this is God's testimony to what happened in the details that he includes is what God wants us to know and understand about what happened and why it happened and how it happened and what he underscores is that Satan concentrated his entire attack on God's words, human sin began with the failure to cling to God's words as totally trustworthy and reliable in any sin to me any decision to sin.
Ever since is a decision to distrust God's words about that soon about its consequences. But whether it's right or wrong, but what God says about it. In any decision to distrust God's words is always always a decision to listen to someone else instead to trust their words instead of God's will that someone else's Satan or a friend or a celebrity or theologian whose contradicting God's words or just you and your own thoughts. Genesis begins, not just with the theology of creation. But with the theology of God's words and argument for the reliability of everything God says. Psalm 19 affirms that the testimony of the Lord is sure, the word sure means reliable trustworthy exactly what we talk about in Genesis is God's testimony of how all things came to be in one thing, he intentionally emphasizes in his testimony, is the reliability of his words. So, for example, when someone espouses the interpretation that the early chapters of Genesis take the form of myth. There is more at stake here than just cosmology.
That interpretation nullifies God's own first testimony to the trustworthiness of his words that he has built into his testimony of how it happened and God is exceedingly jealous over the integrity of his words. In fact, next point God goes to great lengths to defend and protect the trustworthiness of his words.
There are so many passages that we could go to to demonstrate this. What is give you a small taste of that divine jealousy from Jeremiah and Ezekiel as part of Jeremiah's induction in the prophetic ministry. The Lord shows him an object and then ask them a question, it might seem kind of weird unless you understand that in Hebrew.
There's a wordplay going on than is the connection between what he shows Jeremiah and his point in showing it to him.
So the first disc. The conversation between them goes like this, God says Jeremiah what you see. Jeremiah says I see in Allman a shot case branch and gases.
You seem well for I am watching over showcase play on words. I am watching over what my word to perform it, God's first prophetic revelation to Jeremiah emphasizes his jealous vigilance over doing exactly what he says and the sins are coming out all through Jeremiah's prophecy. For example, Jeremiah 23 God delivered an Oracle against false prophets and he summarizes his objection. This way I am against the prophets who steal my words.
I am against the prophets who use their times and stated he says I'm against those who prophesy false dreams and because my people to buy their lies and by their recklessness, yet I did not send them or command them.
Why is God so incensed because they have perverted the words of the living God. Not just because they deceived other people, but by cloaking their lies as God's words there dragging God's integrity through the mud along the way that instances God because it undermines his credibility with everyone else. The reason God treats the miss representation of his word so severely is because his words reflect his trustworthiness and he takes that very seriously.
In fact, God's concluding words to these false prophets. In the end of the chapter are chilling because you say this word the Oracle of the Lord and then follow it with your lies. Therefore, behold, I will utterly forget you and forsake you and will cast you out of my presence.
I will bring in everlasting reproach on you any perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten, forgotten, would you say God is passionate about defending the trustworthiness of his words. In Jeremiah 44 God confronts a group of Jews who had fled Egypt to escape the Babylonian invasion, but taking their own idolatry with them, which was the cause for the invasion in the first place, so God swears to quote watch over them. Same word as chapter 1. By the way, watch over them for adversity and not for good until they are consumed by the sword and by famine until there is an end and then there was a skit about one invasion, but they're not escaping God he's in a watch over them and deal with them and judge them for their disobedience and their idolatry. But he says he will secure a remnant who will return to Judah from Egypt. So why is God doing all this.
Why is he saying all this was his goal in all this just to vent his righteous indignation to express his abhorrence for idolatry. Here's how God expresses his objective all the remnant of Judah who have gone to the land of Egypt to dwell there shall no whose words shall stand mine or theirs. This is about God's words and the reliability and trustworthiness of God's words initially assigned use of the Lord, that I will punish you in this place that you may know that my words will surely stand would you say God is supremely passionate about vindicating the integrity of his words with that word supremely bothers you think of Psalm 138 to another passage we don't have time to go to listen to it. God has magnified his word above all his name. He takes this really seriously and Ezekiel in the book of Ezekiel apply the phrase that they may know that I the Lord or some variation of that grade 3 or 78 times in this prophecy that they may know that I am the Lord God is gonna do these things and that theme is punctuated along the way with additional reminders that a word from God is as good as done. So you read phrases like this for I am the Lord. I speak and the word which I speak will come to pass. I will say the word and perform it. The word that I speak will be done, says the Lord God, I the Lord have spoken, and I will perform it idle or spoken, and I will do it.
I the Lord is spoken and it shall come to pass and I will do it idle or spoken, and I will do it keep saying this, then you shall know that I the Lord have spoken it and performed it says the Lord. The impact of God's future actions is compounded by the fact that he says ahead of time what he's going to do and then he doesn't God merely intended to amaze the nations with him about his his omniscience he could limit himself to strict sterile prediction of who's going to do what in the future. That would be pretty impressive for goddesses. I can easily do this and then he's going to this Elizabeth.
This can happen without involving himself in it at all, but this is more about more than just his omniscience that God wanted to wow the nations with his power. He could simply do all these things without any prediction, but God is passionate about proving the trustworthiness of his words, and of God's words and God's actions don't match. He forfeits his integrity and he will never do that all Scripture argues for the trustworthiness of God's words.
I argued earlier, the God could have chosen any number of ways to create but he chose to do so through words. Think of your whole Bible through that lens. Why does God make covenants. Covenants involve relationships. Relationships involve words and every covenant he makes is a public test of the trustworthiness of his words.
Which is why he is described as God, the faithful God who keeps his covenants read through Exodus and numbers and notice how God keeps saying ahead of time what he's going to do and then he does it, why what a need to surprise everyone by powerful and unexpected interventions.
Read through the books of Kings, with its recurring emphasis on the word of the Lord.
The word of the Lord.
The word of the Lord, why does he keep sending prophets to tell people exactly what can happen and what is going to do because every prediction that he pronounces proves the trustworthiness of his words which is why he says my words shall not return to me void when I say something it's going to happen. That's what he means.
In that context, what is God to silently provider needs because every promise he utters becomes a demonstration of the trustworthiness of his work. There is a difference between believing and trusting their related their twins, but not identical twins, but they are twins and we can delve into the lexical and exegetical arguments for that distinction except a we don't have time and be we don't really need to, because we we we understand this intuitively going.
We understand the difference between believing as intellectually assenting to information quite genuinely and trusting as collapsing all the way of my doubts and my questions and my fears on the assurances and the assertions the words of a trustworthy person and we understand intuitively and experientially that we can genuinely saving. We believe the gospel and still wrestle for the rest of our life with actually trusting God will understand that trusting everything he says throughout my life. Orthodoxy is believing God's word, assurance, rest, confidence, security come from learning to trust God's words and believing God's word is general. Trusting God's words is the specific learning how to move your soul from the general believing God's word to the specific believing God's words. Everything he says about everything is a decision in a process. One statement of God at a time. God wants his children to trust his words because that magnifies his character like nothing else can dislike with somebody entirely trust your words that magnifies their confidence in your character and believe this trust. This when all is said and done every word that he is ever spoken will be proven shown demonstrated to have been 100% reliable.
Father, we thank you that you've given to us. A trustworthy, reliable record of your character of our past of our sin and our problem and our need of our future board. You didn't have to give us this kind of revelation. You didn't have to give us any revelation of all you do enough to give us so much. Lord help us to understand your zeal, your jealousy over the trustworthiness of every word that you said and teach us. Help us grace us to collapse all of our trust, overconfidence, and defined our confidence in rest and security in trusting all of your words. We pray this for your glory and your son's name and thanks again for listening to a chapel service from Bob Jones University. We look forward to the next time as we study God's word together on The Daily Platform