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       May 2006

The Preciousness of God’s Word

Many things are described in the Bible as being precious. Faith is precious. The promises of God are precious. In the sight of the Lord the death of his saints is precious. To believers the thoughts of God are precious. Supremely, the Lord Jesus Christ is precious, as is his blood.

Yet we must never miss the glorious truth that God’s Word itself is highly precious. David indicates as much in the pictures he uses in Psalm 19:10. He writes of the Word of God, in all its fullness and variety and power, being ‘more to be desired than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb’.

How is this so? There are a number of reasons. The Bible is precious because of its author. It is not like any other book. This is the book of God, ‘the word of the Lord’. It is precious because of its subject. The golden thread running through the whole of Scripture is the covenant of grace, the divine scheme of redemption, whereby God has determined to save ‘a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues’. It is precious because of its focus. The Lord Jesus Christ, he who is ‘altogether lovely’, is the focus, the centrepiece, the particular glory of God’s Word. He speaks of the Scriptures as testifying of him. It is precious in its timelessness. It is ‘the word of God, which lives and abides for ever’.

All of which should have some very practical effects upon us. Such as? Accepting it for what it claims to be, the very word of God. Believing it as the word of him who cannot lie. Loving it and making it the delight of our hearts. Feeding upon it for the nourishment of our souls. Walking according to it in holy and glad obedience. Hiding it in our hearts that we shall not sin against God. Handling it with the utmost care. Guarding it from those who would attempt to deny it or destroy it. Proclaiming it loud and clear on every side, whether people will listen or refuse to hear. Cleaving to it firmly whatever the cost may be. Living in the light and joy of it all the way to heaven.

It goes without saying that this will distinguish us from crowds of others in these days. That should not worry us, however. Earlier (and better) times than ours were marked by Christians being known unashamedly as ‘people of the book’ – and there was never any question about which book ‘the book’ was! May we who name the name of Christ in our day be characterised in this way once again – Christians and churches of ‘the book’. And may the power and grace and beauty of God’s Word - the most precious book in the universe – be experienced among us once again. To God shall be the glory!