Someone has said, “Nothing is sure but death and taxes,” but he did not take into account the living Word of God. Not only is God’s Word more sure than even death and taxes, but it has the power to make simpletons wise.
7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul:
the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
Review: Bible Answers for Your Every Need
Psalm 19, verses 7-9 give us six statements about the Bible that sum up the sufficiency of Scripture and answer everything that the human heart longs for.
Do you long for transformation, to be different than you are?
The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.
Do you long for wisdom and discernment, to be able to sort out the issues of life?
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
Do you long for joy, lasting happiness, and deep peace?
The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart.
Do you long to understand the dark and hidden matters of life?
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
Do you long for something that is enduring, permanent, and trustworthy?
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever.
Do you long for something that is consummately right and righteous?
The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
Review: Perfect Parallelism
The parallelism in these verses is matchless, and reveals to us God’s heart concerning His Word. It is like the many facets of a diamond, resplendent from every angle.
Let us now take a brief look at the different parts of these three verses, for these will be the building blocks of our study for the next six weeks, and then we’ll jump in to the first part.
Six Titles of the Word of God
- the law
- the testimony
- the statutes
- the commandment
- the fear
- the judgments
Six Characteristics of the Word of God
Six Benefits of the Word of God
- converts the soul
- makes wise the simple
- rejoices the heart
- enlightens the eyes
- endures forever
- is altogether righteous (provides full spiritual resources)
Six Times God Affirms That He is the Author of the Word.
- of the LORD
- of the LORD
- of the LORD
- of the LORD
- of the LORD
- of the LORD
Now, let’s look at the second title, characteristic, and benefit of the Word of the Lord.
Title #2: The Testimony
Testimony = divine witness = God giving testimony to who He is and what He requires in creed (what we believe) and conduct (what we do).
Some people believe the Word of God is simply a rule book, a list of things we can and cannot do, with an emphasis on the “thou shalt nots.” While there are commandments given in the Bible, there is certainly much more to it than that. The Bible is also a testimony, a witness. It’s even in the name of the two main divisions: they were not called the Old & New Commandments, but the Old & New Testaments.
Characteristic #2: Sure
Sure = unwavering, immoveable, unmistakable, reliable—in contrast to the wavering, insecure, untrustworthy, and ever-changing notions of men.
The Word of God provides a firm foundation on which life and eternity can be built.
Your testimonies are very sure: holiness becomes Your house, O LORD, forever.Psalm 93:5
Peter testifies that he was on the mount of transfiguration and saw the glory of God manifested in Jesus Christ, and yet the Word is greater than that. He says:
We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto you do well that you take heed, as unto a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.2 Peter 1:19
My testimony may be good enough for me, but it cannot satisfy you. I might misinterpret a miracle or an experience. I might not be able to convey it to you in all its full import. I might not remember it exactly as it happened, especially as time goes by. And you certainly cannot experience for yourself that which was personal to me. But the Word of God is written, recorded, sure; it is for all people of all time. God’s testimony is sure.
Benefit #2: Makes Wise the Simple
Simple = The Hebrew word from which we get the word simple signifies “an open door.”
You have a door on your house to keep in the people you wish to keep in, and to keep out the people you wish to keep out. You may even have a peep hole in your door, or a window beside it, so you can see who is on the other side and make an informed decision as to whether or not to open the door.
Why would you be any less careful with your mind? Some people brag about having an “open mind.” But such is the simple person spoken of here. The simple person does not know what to close out, so everything comes in. They are undiscerning, naive, and inexperienced. The root word behind simple means “moron.” So when a person brags about being open-minded, he is actually calling himself a moron.
But this person can be made wise.
Wisdom means “to be skilled in the art of practical living; the ability to make right choices about right things at the right moments of life;” and God is always the source of this wisdom.
The Hebrews never separated behavior from thought. In fact, the biggest fool of all was the person who knew how to live right and didn’t do it. Therefore, wisdom is both knowing what is right and doing it.
Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him show out of a good conversation [manner of living] his works with meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descends not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.James 3:13-17
Given a choice between the wisdom of the world, which produces bitterness and strife; and the wisdom of God, which yields purity, peace, gentleness, kindness, mercy, and good works toward all, there is no contest. God’s wisdom clearly begins in the heart, producing a change in one’s attitude that exhibits itself in selfless actions toward others.
Let’s take a look at Psalm 119 now for a minute or two, and see what the psalmist had to say about where to find wisdom….
24 Your testimonies are my delight and my counselors.
27 Make me to understand the way of Your precepts; so shall I talk of Your wondrous works.
34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law.
66 Teach me good judgment and knowledge, for I have believed Your commandments.
98 You through Your commandments have made me wiser than my enemies.
99 I have more understanding than all my teachers: for Your testimonies are my meditation.
100 I understand more than the ancients, because I keep Your precepts.
104 Through Your precepts I get understanding.
125 I am Your servant; give me understanding that I may know Your testimonies.
144 The righteousness of Your testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live.
169 Give me understanding according to Your Word.
171 My lips shall utter praise when You have taught me Your statutes.
The psalmist did not ask God to help him understand what the scholars were teaching; he asked God to be his teacher.
He did not ask God to help him figure out the books on the library shelf; he asked God to open to him the pages of Scripture.
The psalmist knew that the source of wisdom was the Word of God. He knew that the Word was sufficient.
The Word of God can take a naive, ignorant, undiscerning, inexperienced person and bring them to such wisdom that they can live out a godly life according to the will of God. It is the source of all that is necessary to apply God’s will to daily living.
Are we to believe that God’s Word is not sufficient? Are we to believe that man, the created being, can write something more helpful and more beneficial than what the Creator gave us?
Do we really need to go outside the Bible to make truth relevant and practical? Can anything we have made or written be more relevant than the eternal Word of God?
Do we really need the help of psychology and self-help books? Or do we simply need to spend more quality time in God’s Word?
For the word of God is quick [alive], and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.Hebrews 4:12
Photo taken along Skyline Drive in Shenandoah, Virginia, 2014