Love is a word that we usually connect to our spouses, children, parents, siblings and others whom we hold dear and close. But for the Christian, love is a word that should characterize the Bible, God’s holy and inspired word to his people.
The Bible is a set of 66 books, each one having been written by human authors whose thoughts were moved upon by the very spirit of God to convey his very words to us. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 notes, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”
In his commentary on this passage, Dr. John MacArthur writes, “Sometimes God told the Bible writers the exact words to say, but more often He used their minds, vocabularies and experiences to produce his own perfect infallible, inerrant ord.” We can be sure that the Bible that we have on our bookshelf, desk and nightstand is indeed the very Word of God.
Given that the Bible contains the very words and thoughts of God, the Christian should have a love for it. The person who loves the word of God will treat it with respect, dignity and honor.
Psalm 119, the longest chapter in the Bible, is a song dedicated to the believer’s love of God’s word. At least 10 times in that song, the author expels his love for the “commandments,” “law,” “testimonies” and “precepts” of God.
The author uses vivid imagery to describe the power and value of the word of God in the life of the believer. In verses 161-162, the author uses metaphoric language to describe the reverential respect that he has for God’s word: “My heart stands in awe of your words” (Psalm 119:161b).
Love for the word of God should command a presence and feeling of reverence for its words. Just as one might stand in awe of a great natural wonder or architectural design, so should a person be astounded by the recorded words of the creator to his people.
The person who loves the word of God also will celebrate its promises; “I rejoice at your word” (Psalm 119:162a).
Unlike us, God keeps his covenants. He cannot break a promise. The person who truly studies the words that are recorded in scripture will see the veracity of its claims. It is a right and proper response to celebrate scripture, to rejoice at the inspired word, much like one rejoices during a wedding or birthday party.
The person who loves the word of God will value it more so than worldly wealth. “I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil” (Psalm 119:162).
To those who believe, the word of God contains the power of the salvific gospel of Christ. But it is foolishness to those who do not believe. These are those who are spiritually dead and have no desire for the things of Christ (1 Corinthians 1:18).
The author of Psalm 119 compares the word of God to hidden but valuable treasure. Scripture is a mystery. It takes great effort to uncover its meaning. But those who are led by the spirit will find that the Bible is more valuable than any treasure chest. This is why many people throughout history have been willing to risk their lives for the sake of the word of God.
The value is not in the ink, paper, or leather binding. The value is in the words themselves. These are words that have turned even some of the fiercest criminals into gentle lambs. These are words that have eternally changed lives.
Do you value the word of God? To you, is it just a book that sits on your dusty bookshelf, or is it the power of God for salvation to all who believe in its words? Strive to make time today — and every day — to spend time reading and meditating upon the word of God. If you love the Lord, you should love his word as well.
Greg Judy serves as assistant to the pastor at Hancock Reformed Baptist Church in Greenfield. This weekly column is written by local clergy members.