THOUGHTS FROM THE PSALMS

THE WORD OF GOD

Two of the biggest spiritual questions that confront us are 'What am I supposed to believe?' and 'How am I supposed to live?'

Among the common answers given to the first question are:

      • What tradition teaches
      • What experience teaches
      • Whatever is the common view
      • You just can't know
      • There's really nothing there to believe, so it doesn't really matter what you believe

Among the common answers given to the second question are:

      • What the church says
      • Whatever is the norm in your community
      • Whatever makes you feel good or gives you a buzz
      • It doesn't really matter what you do because there is no such thing as God, heaven and hell

But the Bible gives us a different answer to both questions:

      • Believe what God teaches in his Word and
      • Do what he says in his Word.

This is the perspective of the very first Psalm:

'Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of the mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night' [Psalm 1:1-2].

This is not merely a formal, outward acknowledgement of and obedience to God's Word, but a deep, inner, real and personal commitment; there is 'delight' in God's Word, not just an imposed obedience; there is a love of God's Word that is expressed in a constant contemplation of God's Word.

We must pause here and ask 'Why does this person love God's Word so much? Why is he so committed to these pages and this ink?'

And the answer comes from within the words themselves: it is because of the truth revealed in the Word of God that he has come into a living relationship with God himself [verse 3], for the whole purpose of the written Word is to lead us to a life-giving relationship with the living God [read John 5:39-40],  

This person, who has set aside the common opinions, who takes no notice of popular, market-place theology, who refuses to embrace human ideas on spiritual issues, and who, on the contrary, has found and is committed to God's self-revelation in the written Word, is truly blessed [verse 1] for he has found and knows the living God, and in knowing God has eternal life [John 17:3; 1John 5:20].

Copyright Rosemary Bardsley 2008.