On Scripture, On Loyalty — Part 1

14 Sep

The Psalmist says:

The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward. Psalm 19:7-11

What is it of Scripture that makes it such? What is it of Scripture that makes it revive the soul? Makes wise the simple? Rejoice the heart? Enlighten the eyes? True, and righteous altogether? More desirable than even much fine gold? Sweeter than the drippings of the honeycomb? Warns the servant of the LORD? That in keeping them there is great reward?

Surely it is not Scripture in and of itself, isolated from the One who spoke and inspired it! We do not worship a book but an Author! It is that Scripture reveals and relates to us the Character and Person of the LORD that we find the words to be our sustenance, and our bread and water to be insufficient. It is the Character of God and the knowing the Character of God that revives the soul, rejoices the heart, is more desirable than fine, is sweeter than the drippings of the comb!

If I set to godliness by merely reading, memorizing, and even practicing words on a page with no relation to the One who inspired and spoke them, then I am not walking by faith but by sight—by words that I see on the page. If I set to godliness by glorying in the glory of the Character of God, then I find myself to be loyal to Him, even He who is not seen with eyes (yet)—indeed, I walk by faith.

Jesus said of the unbelieving Jews:

“…And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen, and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent. You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. I do not receive glory from people. But I know that you do not have the love of God within you. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him. How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?” (John 5:37-47)

Those unbelieving Jews knew the Scriptures, knew the word of God, but in their knowledge of the word of God, they didn’t know the Word of God, the Logos, Jesus. They knew to esteem the Scriptures, and in their esteeming of the Scriptures, they were able to completely miss the Character of God revealed by those Scriptures. Had they known the God revealed to them in those Scriptures that they did know, they would have rejoiced that the God they claimed to worship was One who calls the lame to stand up and walk; that He is One who comes near to the Samaritan woman and calls her to life, to holiness away from her life of sin; that He is One who takes notice and pity of the blind man, accounted a sinner by the seeing, and calls him to see, even on the Sabbath, which speaks of the rest to which we look forward; that He is One who weeps over the death of friends, but is also The Lord over life and death. They would have seen that the Kingdom of God had come near and that the Jubilee was at hand!

As it was, they missed the Word for the word. They missed the Word not because He isn’t revealed in the word, but because they did not have the Spirit. It’s not that the word of the LORD returned void or empty—its purpose went out to harden hearts rather than soften; they stumbled over the stumbling stone.

Their keeping of the Law that they knew so well was a piling up of filth and condemnation, as they knew not so well the Character of the Lawgiver. They thought Him as being like them, and missed being like Him.

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One Response to “On Scripture, On Loyalty — Part 1”

  1. skitch256 September 26, 2014 at 7:06 pm #

    Really cool Wes. Especially love the last line “They thought Him as being like them, and missed being like Him.:

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