Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
nor stands in the path of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of the scornful,
but his delight is in the Law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.
Psalms chapter one contrasts the way of the righteous versus the way of the ungodly.
Within the first two versus of the Psalm it reads, “in [God’s] law [the righteous person] meditates day and night.” I believe that the ongoing meditation carries significance.
How can we be right in God’s sight if we are failing to seek Him with our whole heart? We are so blessed to have a full collection of the scriptures. Many who came before us had only pieces.
My friends, nothing has more sustaining power throughout life than God’s Word.
In the darkest hours, the Word glimmers, shining the light of hope and comfort. It presses against the encroaching despair and keeps the evil one at bay.
On the mountain-top moments of happiness, the Word is the substance of praise.
However, the effectiveness of the Word of God in our lives will be limited or enhanced by how little or how much we infuse it into our mind and heart.
An infusion (in the culinary sense), is the steeping of herbs/roots/bark into water. The combination enhances the water, providing additional properties that can help the one who drinks it. In much the same way, the Word of God, properly infused within us will enhance our lives and the lives of those we share it with.
Why is steeping ourselves in the word so important?
A lot of people prefer a twitter-ish exposure to the Word–a hash-tagged version, with sound bytes, tidbits and toe-dips. Such an approach is feeble and will make one prone to applying the scriptures out of context.
Here are a few reasons to infuse yourself with the Word of God:
1) The Word provides wisdom for all of life’s circumstances.
The Word of God is packed with answers. It’s not going to tell you which specific stock to invest in or whether to buy a pink Cadillac or a grey Honda, but it will give you the wisdom to make sound decisions.
- Should I spend time with friends who are leading me away from God? How do I recognize a good friend or a bad friend?
- Should I get drunk or use drugs? Is alcohol ok in moderation?
- Should I engage in the gossip by the water cooler? How do I get away from it?
- Is homosexuality really a sin? Or is that some antiquated viewpoint?
- Can I sleep around before I get married?
Those are obvious, in-your-face examples. There are other decisions more subtle and complicated. For instance, you need a job to provide for your family, but there are only two choices: one offer requires you to work Sundays and you’ll need to be away from your family quite a bit; the other has less money, you’ll have to give up one of your cars and possibly a few other things, but it will provide the basics and won’t require quite so much time away from your family or church. What do you do?
Or, in another scenario–you are in love with a person that doesn’t believe in God, but you think that true love will conquer all and that person will come around to your way of thinking. I do believe that there is wisdom for these situations in the Bible, but it doesn’t come through cherry-picking scriptures; it comes with constant studying the Word.
2) The Word provides sustenance and support during dark and difficult times.
Most people journey through life on a relatively dull plain. A hill or two here followed by the a valley over there. We encounter periods in which we are traveling through a dark canyon; light is scarce, the terrain is difficult and we can’t see any way out other than to start climbing straight up that dangerous rocky cliff. This could be the loss of a loved one, betrayal by an unfaithful spouse, a drug-addicted family member, job loss, wasting disease, verbal abuse from a spouse, friend, boss or child…
…I could make a list to wrap around the world.
During those dark and terrible periods, when hope is all but extinguished, what is our reaction?
Do we shake our fists at the sky?
Do we imitate the Israelites of the who grumbled every time they felt their stomachs growl?
Do we thank God for what we do have?
Do we come before Him with humility and trust like a child seeking comfort?
If we come to God and cry out in anguish before Him, that infusion of God’s word will be there, recalling to your broken heart His promises that He will be with you always. God speaks through His infallible Word. Are you listening? You can’t hear the Word if you never take the time to read it.
In the lowest moments of your life, pull out the Bible. Look for passages on comfort and God’s unfailing love and commit those to memory. They will be recalled to your mind when you need hope and encouragement.
3) The Word gives us the ability to know the God and Creator we worship.
We learn so much about God through the Bible.
We know that, “The Heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows His handiwork.” Just by observation, we can learn about the wisdom and power of God. Even lawyers and insurance folks refer to earthquakes, floods and other natural disasters as “acts of God” because they are so awesome and powerful.
Yet, observation of the earth doesn’t reveal God’s plan for us, nor does it show us the full extent of God’s divine attributes. Those are things the Word reveals to us.
We see how He dealt with the Israelites; we see the massive orchestration of His plan to bring Jesus to earth to live as a man and die to atone for our sins. No human on earth could ever coordinate such a feat through so many countries and peoples and varying choices. Only God can work everything to His good purpose. We can see that through His Word.
4) The Word helps us defend our faith.
This could be a series of posts in and of itself.
Defending the faith is challenging even with a solid grasp of the scriptures. So many people do not credit the bible as a reliable historical document, but they are in fact quite ignorant of the vast amount of written copies that make up the bulk of the Bible that we now have today.
The Bible has gone through rigorous scrutiny by secular and religious scholars alike. And guess what? It still comes out ahead of any other historical text the world has discovered to date.
The Bible is a trustworthy source and has brought about positive change to so many nations and people.
As far as how the Bible helps us defend the faith, there are countless times when science has discovered things that were written in the Bible centuries before. The Bible also can undo many erroneous beliefs about who God is and how the church should function.
People over the centuries have skewed the actual context of the Bible it to fit their desires, but a solid study exposes many of these teachings as false.
The Bible also exposes the flaws in many human philosophies. Relativism, existentialism, nihilism, stoicism and even current philosophies like “live for today” or “follow your heart.”
My hope and prayer is that you will begin to see the following:
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (1 Timothy 3.16-17, NKJV)
“For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” (Romans 15.4, NKJV)
God be with you!