For six weeks and more we have examined the Word of God and seen that it is perfect, sure, right, pure, clean, and true. The bottom line is that God’s Word is sufficient to answer all our questions, solve all our problems, and satisfy all our needs. If we cannot find the resolution of all of our problems, is not the result of the inadequacy of Scripture, but the result of our inadequate study and application of Scripture.
Many Christians do not read the Bible regularly. Why? Because they do not take the time to find a connection between the timeless truths of the Word of God and their daily problems. God urges us to apply His Word to our lives, but all too often we stop short of that and are content merely to accumulate Bible knowledge.
Today we are going to move on to the next major section in Psalm 19, where in verses 10-13 we discover the value of Scripture. Please join me in studying these truths so that we may apply them to our lives.
10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold:
sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
11 Moreover by them is Thy servant warned:
and in keeping of them there is great reward.
12 Who can understand his errors?
cleanse Thou me from secret faults.
13 Keep back Thy servant also from presumptuous sins;
let them not have dominion over me:
then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.
“More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold”
Can you imagine anything being more valuable than gold? Men have risked their lives to find gold. Some have robbed and killed others to possess it. But even the most precious gold perishes. Only one thing matters, and that is knowing and loving the Word of God. It is worth far more than all the gold this world contains.
The law of Your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver.Psalm 119:72
Receive My instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.Proverbs 8:10
“Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb”
In Old Testament times one did not walk to the corner store to purchase a bag of sweets. Honey and the honeycomb were sufficient to satisfy the sweet tooth and to renew strength. Honey is mentioned 56 times in the Bible, the honeycomb another 9 times. The Promised Land was nick-named “the land flowing with milk and honey.” Manna tasted of honey. Jonathan ate a little honey and regained strength to fight in the battle against the Philistines.
As desirable as honey was, and still is today, the Word of God is even sweeter, richer, and more satisfying. Why? Because honey goes to the belly, but God’s Word reaches the soul. Honey is digested and leaves the body, but God’s Word transforms the soul.
How sweet are Your words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!Psalm 119:103
My son, eat honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb, which is sweet to your taste: So shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto your soul: when you have found it, then there shall be a reward, and your expectation (hope) shall not be cut off.Proverbs 24:13-14
“By them is Your servant warned”
The Scriptures guide us in the way that we should walk and warn us both of the temptations that lie beyond the right way and the consequences of yielding to them. The laws of earthly governments are founded on truths in the Scripture. Where do you think men learned that such things as murder and adultery are wrong? The Bible has never led anyone wrong. We suffer only when we do not heed the warnings contained therein.
O that my ways were directed to keep Your statutes! Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all Your commandments.Psalm 119:5-6
“In keeping of them there is great reward”
What kind of rewards does the Lord offer for keeping His Word?
Deal bountifully with Your servant, that I may live, and keep Your word.Psalm 119:17
Immunity to evil
I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep Your word.Psalm 119:101
Fruit borne with patience
But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.Luke 8:15
Blessed are they who hear the word of God, and keep it.Luke 11:28
Because you have kept the word of My patience, I also will keep you from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them who dwell upon the earth.Revelation 3:10
The Value of Scripture
1. The Word of God is our greatest possession.
We don’t have to promise people material things because these things will not last beyond this life. All we need for life and godliness is found in God’s Word.
2. The Word of God is the source of greatest pleasure.
Nothing else is as enriching or satisfying. It gives lasting pleasure. The pleasure we find in possessions and relationships is only intended to last for a little while. All we need for true and lasting satisfaction is found in God’s Word.
3. The Word of God is the source of greatest protection.
It protects us from sin by warning us of sin. It protects us from danger by warning us of danger. It protects us from destruction by revealing to us the way of life. All we need for complete protection and security is found in God’s Word.
4. The Word of God is the source of greatest profit.
Instead of focusing on health, wealth, and prosperity in this life, our focus should be on living for the eternal reward. The things we accumulate on earth can be destroyed or taken away by moths, worms, rust, and thieves. Only those treasures that we lay up in heaven will last forever. All we need for profit in this life and the one to come is found in God’s Word.
5. The Word of God is the source of greatest purification.
You may follow your twelve steps, do an herbal cleanse, or bathe in holy water, but nothing so purifies the body and soul like the precious Word of God. The blood of Christ cleanses us from all sin (1Jn 1:7), and we learn about this blood in the pages of Scripture. All we need for cleansing and purification is found in God’s Word.
“Who can understand his errors?”
Having read and studied the inestimable value of Scripture, how can I understand why I sin? Why would I ever violate that which can transform me (v.7), make me wise (v.7), fill my heart with joy (v.8), enlighten my eyes (v.8), supply all my needs (v.9), and purify my heart (v.9)? Why would I want to turn my back on the message of love written to me by the God who made me?
“Cleanse me from secret sins”
These are the sins I don’t plan, and maybe even don’t even realize I have committed. Perhaps I say something that hurts someone, though I am completely unaware of the offense. I may make light of a serious situation, not knowing this person has just gone through the very situation I am mocking, and the heart is still raw from the pain. Is it a sin? The words hurt, whether I intend for them to hurt or not. So, yes, it is a sin—a secret sin—not in the sense of trying to hide my sin, but in the sense that the sin was hidden to me. Even those sins need forgiveness, and God grants forgiveness. He can also protect us from committing secret sins when we allow ourselves—every thought, every word, every action—to be guided by His Spirit.
“And from presumptuous sins”
These are the ones I do know about, the ones I premeditate, the arrogant sins. Going back to the conversation above, suppose I know full well what has happened to this person, and I say the hurtful words anyway. Now my sin is not secret, but presumptuous. I have deliberately hurt someone with my words. However, in the Word of God I can find the strength to refrain from deliberately sinning.
There are many other ways to sin besides with the tongue, but I think perhaps, of all the members of our body, the tongue is the most likely part to sin—more than feet that are swift to run to mischief, more than hands that are quick to offend, more than eyes that run to things they ought not see.
The apostle James had much to say about the power of the tongue:
For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small rudder, wherever the pilot wishes. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasts great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and has been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, who are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceeds blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.James 3:2-10
“The great transgression”
What is “the great transgression”? Some believe it to be apostasy, which is an abandonment of what one had previously professed; a total desertion or departure from one’s faith. Others understand it to be pride, which is the root of all evil.
The main point of this verse is that by immersing yourself in the Word of God, you can be cleansed, washed, acquitted, of all sin. For cleansing, it doesn’t make sense to go anywhere but to the Word of God, for dirty water cannot make one clean.
How shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to Your Word.Psalm 119:9
Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.Job 14:4
Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part You shall make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.Psalm 51:6-7
Applying God’s Word is a vital part of one’s relationship with God; it is the evidence that we obey Him. The difficulty in applying the Bible is not with the Bible itself, but with the reader’s inability to bridge the gap between the past and present. This requires more than a cursory glance at the pages so you may check off your daily Bible reading assignment. This requires a commitment to dig deeply into the Word of God. Use the commentaries and books of faithful men if you need to, but above all, rely on the Holy Spirit within you to reveal His truth.
Imagine reading a familiar passage of Scripture and gaining fresh insight, as if it were the first time you had ever read it. This has happened to me many times, and it never ceases to thrill my heart. How much richer your life would be if you left each Bible reading with a new perspective and a small change for the better. A small change every day adds up to a changed life—and that is the very purpose of Scripture.
But do not be discouraged if sometimes the reading feels dry. We all go through dry spells, and there are many reasons for them. Stay in the Word, and you may be assured that in due time the water will flow again. The Bible is more precious than gold, and sweeter than honey. Thank God every day for His Word—then get into it, study it, savor it, meditate on it, then take it with you applying it to your day-by-day living.
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