July 8, 2024

God Wrote A Book So You Can Have Light


"Sensible of the importance of Christian piety and virtue to the order and happiness of a state, I cannot but earnestly commend to you every measure for their support and encouragement."

He called on the entire state to pray "that universal happiness may be established in the world [and] that all may bow to the scepter of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the whole earth be filled with His glory."

He also called on the State of Massachusetts to pray . . . "that all nations may bow to the scepter of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and that the whole earth may be filled with his glory. that the spiritual kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ may be continually increasing until the whole earth shall be filled with His glory. to confess their sins and to implore forgiveness of God through the merits of the Savior of the World.to cause the benign religion of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to be known, understood, and practiced among all the inhabitants of the earth. to confess their sins before God and implore His forgiveness through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. that He would finally overrule all events to the advancement of the Redeemer's kingdom and the establishment of universal peace and good will among men. that the kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ may be established in peace and righteousness among all the nations of the earth. that with true contrition of heart we may confess our sins, resolve to forsake them, and implore the Divine forgiveness, through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, our Savior. . . . And finally to overrule all the commotions in the world to the spreading the true religion of our Lord Jesus Christ in its purity and power among all the people of the earth."

Daily Reading : PSALM 119:89 ? 176; 120 - 132

TEXT : PSALM 119:89 For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.  119:97 O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.  119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.  119:130 The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.  119:148 Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word.  119:165 Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.  119:176 I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments.
THEME : THE WORD OF GOD                          
In Psalm 119:89 the Bible states "Thy Word is settled in Heaven - forever." Speaking of God's Word, the author of Psalm 119 says emphatically the Holy Scriptures are "settled" [i.e. fixed, like a pillar, established etc.]. Further, the Bible declares it is fixed not on earth, although it naturally includes the earth, but that it is established in Heaven. Thus, the Bible has God as its ultimate source of stability, indestructibility, and permanence.
"For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven." The strain is more joyful, for experience has given the sweet singer a comfortable knowledge of the word of the Lord, and this makes a glad theme. After tossing about on a sea of trouble the Psalmist here leaps to shore and stands upon a rock. Jehovah's word is not fickle nor uncertain; it is settled, determined, fixed, sure, immovable. Man's teachings change so often that there is never time for them to be settled; but the Lord's word is from of old the same, and will remain unchanged eternally. Some men are never happier than when they are unsettling everything and everybody; but God's mind is not with them. The power and glory of heaven have confirmed each sentence which the mouth of the Lord has spoken, and so confirmed it that to all eternity it must stand the same, - settled in heaven, where nothing can reach it. In the former section David's soul fainted, but here the good man looks out of self and perceives that the Lord fainteth not, neither is weary, neither is there any failure in his word.
The verse takes the form of an ascription of praise: the faithfulness and immutability of God are fit themes for holy song, and when we are tired with gazing upon the shifting scene of this life, the thought of the immutable promise fills our mouth with singing. God's purposes, promises, and precepts are all settled in his own mind, and none of them shall be disturbed. Covenant settlements will not be removed, however unsettled the thoughts of men may become; let us therefore settle it in our minds that we abide in the faith of our Jehovah as long as we have any being. [C.H. Spurgeon]
When you develop a love for God's Word you will not be able to stop thinking about it - day and night. This is the common experience of all who have fallen in love with God's Book. With a love for the Bible, one naturally loves God more since He is contained within the pages of Holy Writ. That is, the One True God - His Spirit, His directives, His promises, His principles, and so forth come out of the texts of Scripture. They go into your innermost being while you read and contemplate the Bible. Put another way, the more you meditate on the Word of God, the wiser, more calm, more confident and happier you will become. This is the result of "loving thy Law."
MEM. O how love I thy law!.... The whole word of God, the preceptive part of it; the commands of the moral law, which are holy, just, and good, and to be loved: but they are not loved by carnal men, whose minds are enmity to them, and therefore are not and cannot be subject to them, but despise and reject them; but to a good man, on whose heart they are written, they are delightful, and loved to admiration: though this is wholly owing to the grace of God; and marvellous it is that men so sadly depraved by sin should love the holy law of God; yet so it is, and David could appeal to God for the truth of it. So the ordinances of the Gospel, the commands of Jesus Christ, are not grievous to saints, but loved, valued, and esteemed by them; likewise the doctrinal part of the word, the truths of the Gospel, which may be more especially meant by the "thorah", or doctrine, here; which those who have had an experience of greatly love and justly value, because of the intrinsic worth of them, being comparable to gold, silver, and precious stones; and for the profit and benefit of them to their souls, they being wholesome words, soul nourishing doctrines, and so more to them than their necessary food; and for the pleasure they have in them, these being sweeter to them than the honey or honeycomb: particularly the exceeding great and precious promises of the word, which are more to be rejoiced at than a great spoil; and even the whole Gospel part of the word, that containing the doctrines of peace, pardon, righteousness, salvation, and eternal life through Christ; yea, the whole Scripture, which is both profitable and pleasant to read in, and hear explained; it is my meditation all the day; not only in the night, when at leisure, and free from the incumbrance of business; but in the day, and while engaged in the affairs of life, yea, all the day long; see Psa_1:2. Or, "it is my discourse" (c); what he talked of, as well as what he thought on. Good men cannot forbear speaking of this or the other passage of Scripture, which has been of use unto them: and this is a proof of affection for the word; for what men love, persons or things, they often think of, and frequently talk of; see Deu_6:6. [John Gill]
God uses the metaphor of a lamp to illustrate how His Word enlightens your mind. Like the Menorah in the darkened Holy Place of the Tabernacle or Temple, His Word helps you to see what life is in reality - both the good and the bad. With the Word of God as your "lamp" you know where you have come from, where you are [now], and where you are headed. Jesus said He is the "light" of the world. You know that Jesus is also called "The Word of God." [Rev_19:13  And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.] When you put both of these appellations together, you discover Jesus is your lamp, your light, and your salvation. He will show you all you need to know, and all you need to see. He will guide you through this world into the next - diligently, faithfully, and tirelessly.
"Observe here, 1. The nature of the word of God, and the great intention of giving it to the world; it is a lamp and a light. It discovers to us, concerning God and ourselves, that which otherwise we could not have known; it shows us what is amiss, and will be dangerous; it directs us in our work and way, and a dark place indeed the world would be without it. It is a lamp which we may set up by us, and take into our hands for our own particular use, Pro_6:23. The commandment is a lamp kept burning with the oil of the Spirit; it is like the lamps in the sanctuary, and the pillar of fire to Israel. 2. The use we should make of it. It must be not only a light to our eyes, to gratify them, and fill our heads with speculations, but a light to our feet and to our path, to direct us in the right ordering of our conversation, both in the choice of our way in general and in the particular steps we take in that way, that we may not take a false way nor a false step in the right way. We are then truly sensible of God's goodness to us in giving us such a lamp and light when we make it a guide to our feet, our path." [Matthew Henry]
As soon as the Word of God falls into fertile soil of the mind - namely, the soul of the [true] Christian, it brings the light of wisdom, hope, love, comfort, encouragement, etc. When the Scriptures "enter" the believer, they immediately begin their work. God's Word never returns to Him - void. The entrance of the Word of God begins a process of destroying imaginations and every "high thing" that opposes the truth of the Scriptures, while it starts to build faith, hope, and love in God.[Isa_55:11  So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.] As you turn the pages of the Bible their inherent power goes to work like a medicine. God's Word heals, restores, replenishes, corrects, and renews your inner man - your spirit. Like a child, you are consoled by your Father who cannot fail, and will never stop loving you!
"The entrance of thy words giveth light." No sooner do they gain admission into the soul than they enlighten it, what light may be expected from their pro - longed indwelling! Their very entrance floods the mind with instruction, for they are so full, so clear; but, on the other hand, there must be such an "entrance," or there will be no illumination, The mere hearing of the word with the external ear is of small value by itself, but when the words of God enter into the chambers of the heart then light is scattered on all sides. The word finds no entrance into some minds because they are blocked up with self-conceit, or prejudice, or indifference; but where due attention is given, divine illumination must surely follow upon knowledge of the mind of God. Oh, that thy words, like the beams of the sun, may enter through the window of my understanding, and dispel the darkness of my mind! "It giveth understanding unto the simple." The sincere and candid are the true disciples of the word. To such it gives not only knowledge, but under - standing. These simple-hearted ones are frequently despised, and their simplicity has another meaning infused into it, so as to be made the theme of ridicule; but what matters it? Those whom the world dubs as fools are among the truly wise if they are taught of God. What a divine power rests in the word of God, since it not only bestows light, but gives that very mental eye by which the light is received - '"It giveth understanding." Hence the value of the words of God to the simple, who cannot receive mysterious truth unless their minds are aided to see it and prepared to grasp it." [C.H. Spurgeon]
Like Isaiah 26:3 that states the LORD will keep [guard, protect] the mind of the Christian with a "perfect peace" [the Hebrew text literally says - "peace, peace," - a type of profound tranquility] when your mind is "stayed" [settled, fixed, always gazing - day and night] on the LORD, Psalm 119:165 says the same thing. [Isa_26:3  Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.] It states the Christian who "loves" God's Law [which, is equal to loving God Himself] will enjoy "great" peace. What a desirable commodity! To have a peace so profound it passes human understanding! [Php_4:7  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.] No one can say this is not what they are looking for! Rather, a great sense of relaxation of the mind, body, and spirit is exactly what the Christian needs. Thanks be to God this is what He promises if you love His Law [Word].
John Gill, the 17th century theologian states the Jewish Targums [a type of paraphrase/ commentary written by Jewish scholars for the Old Testament] have an interesting perspective on this 165th verse.
Great peace have they which love thy law,.... The Targum adds, "in this world.''
Great prosperity, especially prosperity of soul, inward peace, peace of conscience, peace in Christ, and from him, flowing from his blood, righteousness, and sacrifice, and a view of interest therein; which is usually enjoyed in a way of believing, and frequently had in the ways, worship, and ordinances of God. Such as love the law of God, his word, precepts, and doctrines, have a large share of it; a peace so great, that it passes the understanding of unregenerate men, and cannot be fully expressed by the saints themselves; there is none to the wicked, it is peculiar to them that love the Lord, and what belong to him: the Arabic and Ethiopic versions render it, "which love thy name";
and nothing shall offend them; the Targum is, "in the world to come.''
Nothing shall disturb their minds, and break their peace; nothing from without, though sin, temptations, and desertions do; not outward afflictions, the reproaches and persecutions of wicked men, nor the reproof of good men; nor what God does to them in a providential way: though in the world they have tribulation, in Christ they have peace, which the world can neither give nor take away. "There is no stumbling block unto them" (l), as it may be rendered; nothing that shall cause them to be offended and depart out of the good ways of God, which is the case of carnal formal professors, Mat_13:21; such stumble not at the word, as others do, at any of the doctrines of it; and the true light shining in them, and the word without being a light unto them, there is no occasion of stumbling in them; they see their way, and what lies in it, and so avoid that at which they might stumble, 1Jo_2:10. Moreover, such do not easily either give or take offence; they are possessed of that charity or love, which is not suspicious or easily provoked; and they endeavour to give no offence to any, but live without it, in the midst of a perverse generation, 1Co_13:5, Phi_2:15.  [John Gill]
Thus, the "entrance" of the Word of God has both temporary and eternal effects on your soul - according to the Targums. This agrees with Jesus words in Matthew_24:35 - " Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." Therefore, we enjoy a "holy serenity" as Matthew Henry states. No matter how severe your trial of faith may be, no matter how deep your pain, or how agonizing your past or present, God's Word will accommodate your desire for freedom from your vexations by supplying - "great peace." This is the balm for all your wounds, the healing of Christ! [Jer_17:14  Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise.] Truly, God wrote a Book so you can have light!
"Here is an account of the happiness of good men, who are governed by a principle of love to the word of God, who make it their rule and are ruled by it. 2. They are easy, and have a holy serenity; none enjoy themselves more than they do: Great peace have those that love thy law, abundant satisfaction in doing their duty and pleasure in reflecting upon it. The work of righteousness is peace (Isa_32:17), such peace as the world can neither give nor take away. They may be in great troubles without and yet enjoy great peace within, sat lucis intus - abundance of internal light. Those that love the world have great vexation, for it does not answer their expectation; those that love God's word have great peace, for it outdoes their expectation, and in it they have sure footing. 2. They are safe, and have a holy security: Nothing shall offend them; nothing shall be a scandal, snare, or stumbling-block, to them, to entangle them either in guilt or grief. No event of providence shall be either an invincible temptation or an intolerable affliction to them, but their love to the word of God shall enable them both to hold fast their integrity and to preserve their tranquility. They will make the best of that which is, and not quarrel with any thing that God does. Nothing shall offend or hurt them, for every thing shall work for good to them, and therefore shall please them, and they shall reconcile themselves to it. Those in whom this holy love reigns will not be apt to perplex themselves with needless scruples, nor to take offence at their brethren, 1Co_13:6, 1Co_13:7." [Matthew Henry]
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