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God's Inspired Little Book

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
January 22, 2024 12:00 am

God's Inspired Little Book

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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January 22, 2024 12:00 am

Perfect. Sure. Right. Pure. True. Do these words describe any other book in the entire world? Access all of the resources and lessons in this series: https://www.wisdomonline.org/the-song-volume-1

 

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Heavens and the earth will pass away, but my word, Jesus said in Matthew chapter 24 and verse 35, lasts forever. If the truth of the Bible lasts forever, it'll be true for your entire lifetime. So when you're 50 or 60 or 70 or 80, you're not going to find out, oh, man, it's not true for me anymore.

I live too long. Beloved, the Bible that you carried when you were young will carry you as you grow old. If you were with us for the previous message, you learned that God reveals some things about Himself through creation.

Even though creation tells us some things about the Creator, it's not enough. The primary way that God reveals Himself is through His Word, and His Word lasts forever. The Bible is God's clear revelation of Himself, and that special revelation is our theme today here on Wisdom for the Heart.

Stephen Davey is back in Psalm 19 looking at what David teaches about the Bible. Today, you'll learn what the Bible is and what the Bible does. Last year, a research study was commissioned by the American Bible Society and conducted by the Barna Research Group.

First, here's the good news. Eighty-five percent of households in this country own at least one Bible. In fact, the average household owns nearly five copies of the Bible. Sixty-nine percent of Americans surveyed believe the Bible provides answers and direction on how to live a meaningful life. Sixty-nine percent.

Now, here's the bad news. Twenty-six percent of those same people either never read it or only read it once a year, which you wonder how they know how to live a meaningful life. Seventy-nine percent of those surveyed believe they are knowledgeable about the Bible, but only about half of them can identify the first five books of the Bible. How are we doing in here?

Same with me. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Nehemiah. Just checking, okay? Here's the most troubling news to me of the entire survey. Forty-six percent of these same people who said they believe the Bible, they also believe the Qur'an and the Book of Mormon are nothing more than different expressions of the same spiritual truths, half of them. Even though the Qur'an teaches that Jesus is merely a prophet and by no means deity, that Jesus didn't die on the cross and he didn't atone for our sin, that salvation is not granted by faith alone and Christ alone.

And when he returns to earth, by the way, in the future, he's going to reign for about 40 years until he dies and he's buried next to Muhammad. That doesn't sound like the same spiritual truths to me. Of course, the Book of Mormon teaches that Jesus and Satan are among many sons of Elohim. In fact, their stepbrother is born of women with whom God the Father slept with. Jesus is not God in the flesh, only a man who gained glory by his good works. But you do have to believe in him.

In fact, you can go ahead and accept him into your heart if you want to go to heaven, although there are actually three heavens and only faithful Mormons get into the top tier, the top heaven, the celestial heaven, and that heaven includes faithful Mormon men who've become gods themselves, inheriting their own planet where they, along with their multiple wives, copulate and bear children for all of eternity. That doesn't sound like the same spiritual truths to me. Somebody's not reading the Bible. One author wrote tongue and cheek that if all the Bibles in our country were dusted off at the same time, the dust cloud would eclipse the sun for at least a week. In fact, this survey went on to say that the people, when they were made aware of their ignorance of the Bible, most of them said the reason they really didn't read it was they didn't have time. More than half of the books of the Bible, by the way, are about the size of one newspaper article or one blog.

In fact, half of the books of the Bible can be read, each of them, in less than 20 minutes. The issue isn't so much that we don't have time. The issue is we don't really consider it a treasure.

Frankly, that danger exists in every generation. It exists in my own life and in yours, too. So David the psalmist, on behalf of God, presents one of his most famous advertising campaigns for the scriptures. It's in Psalm chapter 19, Psalm 19.

Turn back there. Here's David's advertising campaign for God's revelation. By the way, if you were with us in our last study, you may remember in the first six verses, David caused us to wonder in the glory and the joy and the grace of the creativity of God demonstrated through creation. We called creation God's big book. Now David is going to address God's little book, special revelation, the Bible. Creation is a book of pictures. The Bible is a book of words.

And by the way, it fills in the blanks for us. While you come to the conclusion by looking at the big book of creation, that there is a designer or a creator, you need this little book to discover who he is, right? Creation tells you there's a creator. The Bible tells you the creator's name.

Creation demonstrates that there is a designer. This Bible tells you you need a redeemer. In fact, David is going to change his reference to God in this Psalm. In the first six verses, when he's talking about creation, he refers to God as El, E-L, the sovereign, powerful creator God. In fact, it's the most general name of God in the Old Testament. But now for the rest of the Psalm, David refers to God as Yahweh.

Yahweh is the name of the communicating, revealing, personal Lord. So it's as if David says at the beginning of the Psalm with excitement, look at what God, El, made. And now David says look at what God said in the last eight verses.

We're only going to get to three of the last eight tonight. Now what I want to do is divide what David says about God's inspired special revelation, the Bible, into two sections. David really does it for us. The first section of our discussion will be what the Bible is. Secondly, what the Bible does.

Each section David gives us has six points. Now what David begins to do here in verse seven then is to describe for us in Psalm 19 six different ways of describing what the Bible is. Look at verse seven. The law of the Lord is perfect.

That's the first thing he says. The law, Torah. The Hebrew word announces. In fact, if you take it in a broader sense, it is any instruction flowing from the revelation of God which becomes the basis for life and belief and action. And David says here that law is perfect. Tamim is the Hebrew word. It's sound. You could translate it that way.

It is ethically and theologically sound. Whatever instruction God delivers is worth learning. The problem is we're like that little boy who came home from school. He was in his first month at first grade. It had been a month since mom had even asked him about it. She was wondering, you know, now that he's a seasoned elementary school student, you know, how it was going in Miss Decker's class. And she finally said, honey, how are you enjoying first grade? And he said, well, I love first grade. I love first grade. I just don't like it when Miss Decker tries to teach us stuff.

I love that kid. How many of you can remember back that far to first grade? What do you remember? What was your favorite part of first grade?

Everybody said at the same time. Recess. Well, that's all I remember, too. Except for a few paddlings I didn't deserve.

But recess. When God tries to teach us, it's actually worth remembering. It's good theology.

There's a second characteristic. David writes, the testimony of the Lord, skip a line, is sure. That's legal language. Whenever someone is called into court for the prosecution or the defense, they get up and they give their testimony. They testify to what they know. They testify to what they've seen. They testify to what they've heard. And you can only hope that their testimony is true. See, David is writing in legal terminology.

He's saying God is testifying and whatever and whenever God testifies, David writes here, the testimony of the Lord is sure. You could render that trustworthy. You never have to wonder.

You can count on it. In fact, one author said in commenting on this word, it's a word that means you can throw your weight on it and it'll support you. There's a third thing to note about this little book. Notice verse eight. The precepts of the Lord are right. Precepts are those things that God has charged us to do. They're guiding principles. They're like signs along the highway that you eagerly look for.

My two favorites are SitGo and Cracker Barrel. And I try to pace myself. Takes discipline, but I work at it. And I'm going to heed those signs. David says whatever signs God has revealed in his word, they're right. Heed them. Heed them. Spurgeon wrote on this word, a good doctor gives the right medicine.

A good counselor gives the right advice. So also does this book of God speak rightly. Notice the fourth characteristic of God's inspired little book.

Look at verse eight, the middle part. The commandment of the Lord is pure. The word pure means without contamination, like crystal clear water. It's clean. It's pure water. It isn't muddy. It isn't complicated.

It's clear. Trouble is we don't like being commanded. Commandments are so commanding, aren't they? Someone wrote there are three ways to get something done. Number one, do it yourself. Number two, hire someone to do it.

Number three, forbid your kids to do it and it'll get done. Enough said. David goes on fifthly. There's a similar characteristic, verse nine. The fear of the Lord is clean. Now you'll notice David kind of shifts here. He calls the revelation of God the fear of the Lord.

Why? Think about it. When God revealed his word and the word that David would have known would have only been the Torah, he revealed it with smoke and fire and thunder. It was fearfully awe inspiring. The idea of the word of God would be matched with it's fearfully awe inspiring. Secondly, when God reveals himself, as you've noticed as you've read the Bible, if you're older in the faith, every time someone encounters God, it seems like they immediately begin to talk about how unworthy they are. So Isaiah sees the revelation of God in his holiness and he immediately says, I'm in deep trouble.

That's woe is me. I'm unclean. But did you notice David effectively writes the revelation of the Lord is an awe inspiring, fearful encounter. That means it reveals our sin. But notice the end product is clean.

David isn't saying his commandments are easy to obey or fun to observe or simple to adjust to. He's just saying they're good. They're uncontaminated. And in fact, in the end, they protect you.

They protect you. I read recently how over a Fourth of July weekend a couple of years ago, a large group of guys riding their motorcycles gathered in upper New York to ride in protest against the New York state law that requires motorcycle riders to wear a helmet. So they made their ride in protest, not wearing their helmets. One of the men writing that afternoon the article said lost control of his bike, flew head first over the handlebars. His head struck the pavement and tragically he was pronounced dead a few hours later.

The medical examiner said in an interview that had this man been wearing a helmet, he would have more than likely survived. Imagine the irony of protesting a law that in the end could have saved your life. So also with that little inspired book. Now here's David's final characteristic of divine revelation is 6 1 verse 9. The rules of the Lord are true. The word rules might be rendered decrees or judgments in your translation.

Here's the bottom line. What God says is wrong is wrong and what God says is true or right is true or right. His word is the authority on that which is right and wrong, not you and me, not the church, not the government, not popular opinion. The authority is the word of God. That's why in the morning when I preach, I preach behind a pulpit that has etched into it sola scriptura, the scriptures alone for faith and practice. This is what David, who's kind of on this advertising campaign for the right thing, says the Bible is. Go back to verse 7. The law of the Lord is theologically sound.

Skip a line. The testimony of the Lord is trustworthy. The precepts of the Lord are always good advice. The commandment of the Lord is uncontaminated.

The fear of the Lord is without corruption. And the rules of the Lord are the authority on right and wrong. Now what David does next is he tells us what the Bible does. Enough of what the Bible is in this poem. Now here's what the Bible does.

Again, he gives us six results. Describe your go back to verse 7 and now look at the alternating line. The law of the Lord is perfect. We've seen that.

Now notice, here's the first result. Reviving the soul, the entire being. This is, by the way, the same word David uses in Psalm 23, verse 3. He restores my soul. He brings me back. In fact, no matter how far you've gone, no matter how deep you fall, God has given you the map to return to fellowship with him. So David is effectively saying, here, first of all, if you're keeping an outline, the Bible brings you back. It brings you back.

And we need that time and time again, don't we? Secondly, the Bible makes you wise. Notice the latter part of verse 7, the testimony of the Lord is sure. Now look, making wise the simple. Now you read that and you think, I don't know if I like that description, the simple. David isn't referring to a simpleton. That's somebody who refuses to learn in the scriptures.

He's referring to the simple. And in the Bible, this describes someone who is open-minded and ready to learn. Open-minded, open-hearted. In fact, over the years, a veteran missionary to Haiti collected and kept interesting prayers. She heard villagers pray in their mountain chapel. One prayed, Father, we are all hungry baby birds today. Our heart mouths are gaping wide waiting for you to fill us.

That's the idea. The Bible brings you back. The Bible makes you wise. Thirdly, the Bible gives you joy. Notice the Bible rejoices the heart.

And that would follow, wouldn't it? Because there's no greater joy in life than walking wisely in fellowship with God. That brings joy. And I know you found that to be true.

Fourthly, verse 8, the commandment of the Lord is pure. Now look what it does. Enlightening the eyes.

Here's the point. The Bible not only brings you back and makes you wise and gives you joy, but it helps you see. In fact, the Hebrew construction implies that the revelation of God is actually giving off light. It's like it's a high beam flashlight or a powerful light bulb.

The truth is we might think we can see okay until light is intensified. This happened to me this week. Our kids were out in the front yard making a snowman on, I think it was Friday. I stepped out on the porch to take some pictures and the sun was reflecting on that snow right into my eyes and it was really, really bright. So I took some pictures.

You know you're getting old when the other people build the snowman and you take pictures and you think you had a great time. But at any rate, I took some pictures. I stepped back into the house and went back into my study and was it ever dark in there. I stood there for a couple of moments waiting for my eyes to adjust to a room that before I had stepped out there was perfectly lit until I came into the presence of a brighter light. See it's possible to think that your life is alright, that you see everything just fine until the light of God's word shines upon your path, your life, and you realize you know you weren't as illuminated as you thought.

We needed a brighter light. The Bible helps you truly see. Fifth, the fifth benefit of the word at work in your life, verse 9, the fear of the Lord is clean. Now look what it does, enduring forever. In other words it just lasts forever. Or you could render it this way, the Bible is true forever. The heavens and the earth will pass away but my word, Jesus said in Matthew chapter 24 and verse 35, lasts forever.

And it's really good news, better news than we think at first. In fact, if the truth of the Bible lasts forever, it will be true for your entire lifetime. So when you're 50 or 60 or 70 or 80, you're not going to find out, oh man it's not true for me anymore, I live too long.

No, if it lasts forever, it will cover your life. Beloved, the Bible that you carried when you were young will carry you as you grow old. You're not going to outlive its truth.

It will last forever. One more, verse 9. The rules of the Lord are true and righteous all together. What he's saying here is the Bible will never lead you astray. Again Spurgeon commenting on this phrase said that the word of God is founded in righteousness and thus it always leads you in righteousness. It will always hit the mark of genuine godliness and true holiness and humble purity. Just stay here. We had some visitors that came together, they came up after me and wanted to give me a book and then wanted to meet and I took the book home. This afternoon I scanned through as quickly as I could about 180 pages and it all sounded so great and by the time you got to the end of it, it was so wrong because it was diverting the student away from the word of God.

The Bible will never miss the mark. A crew from the TV show Mythbusters was staging an experiment in the town of Dublin, California. It had to be California. They were trying to fire a cannon ball into some large water containers at a bomb disposal range.

The article didn't say why but they had some spare time on their hands. The crew seriously underestimated the dangerous power of this cannon. By the way, I'll tell you ahead of time no one was physically hurt so you can relax and follow along. According to a newspaper report, and I quote, the cantaloupe sized cannon ball missed the water containers, tore through a cinder block wall, skipped off a hillside and flew some 700 yards east. The cannon ball bounced in front of a house on a quiet street, ripped through the front door, raced up the stairs and blasted out through a bedroom wall leaving a perfectly round hole in the stucco. It flew across a six lane road, took out several tiles from the roof of a home on Bellevue Circle and finally slammed into a Toyota minivan in a driveway on Springdale Road. A spokesman for the local sheriff's department could only say, crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy, end quote.

That was deep, I know, that was it. One stray cannon ball, man alive, can you imagine that? Can you imagine the destructive power of one stray life? Can you imagine the constructive power of one Bible saturated, Bible enriched, Bible following life? Thank God for his inspired little book.

Why? Because the Bible brings you back, because it makes you wise, because it gives you joy, it helps you see, it lasts forever and it will never, ever lead you astray. I assume that because you're listening today, you probably either love God's word or at least are interested in what God says through his word. What we've seen today is that the Bible is more than just a book to read. God uses his word to change our lives and to transform us.

It's God's revelation of himself. I hope Stephen's message has increased your appreciation for God writing to you and making it possible for you to know him through that word. Our entire ministry here at Wisdom International is centered on God's word.

Each of our lessons are intended to help you know what the Bible says, understand what it means and live out the principles it teaches. In addition to these daily broadcasts, we've developed other resources to help you. We take all of the teaching you hear and make it available in written transcripts or on sets of compact discs. We also have books and Bible study guides to aid you in your personal study of God's word.

And of course, the complete archive of all Stephen's teaching is available as well. There are two main tools that you can use to access all of these resources. The first is our website. You'll find us online at wisdomonline.org. And all of the resources I mentioned are available at that site. We also have an app that we've developed for your smartphone.

So it doesn't matter if you use an iPhone or an Android device. The free Wisdom International app is available in the App Store for your device. And once you install that app to your phone, you'll have access to many of the resources we've developed to help you grow in the Christian faith.

Of course, if you prefer, you can call us and we can help you over the phone. The number that you can use is 866-48-BIBLE. You can call us Monday through Friday from 830 a.m. to 430 p.m. That's 866-48-BIBLE. Our ministry is empowered by your prayers and enabled by your gifts. If you'd like to support this ministry, we'd be grateful. That's all for today, but please join us next time for more Wisdom for the Heart. Thank you. We'll see you next time.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-22 00:09:17 / 2024-01-22 00:18:29 / 9

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