In my last post, I discussed an article entitled “Why do I Need to Read the Bible When We Have Bible Teachers Online” by John Piper at the desiringGod.org website points out the importance of studying God’s Word for oneself as opposed to engaging the Bible through the filter of a human author. Please refer to my earlier article for a link to Dr. Piper’s article.
The question put to Dr. Piper was:
Pastor John, what can I say to my friend that refuses to study the Bible for himself because he thinks he can get all the answers from teachers like you and others online? He thinks that hours spent listening to good and faithful expositions of Scripture is time better spent than reading the Bible for himself. He thinks sermons are less confusing and more efficient in his pursuit to comprehend the message of the Bible. How would you make the case otherwise?”
As his initial response, John Piper suggested that such a person meditate on the text of Psalm 119:97–100 (NET):
97 O how I love your law! All day long I meditate on it. 98 Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies, for I am always aware of them. 99 I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your rules. 100 I am more discerning than those older than I, for I observe your precepts.
As a “Part Two” to my earlier article, my brief observations about the above four verses are below.
● The Psalmist loves God’s Word. Love is a strong term and demonstrates an attraction or draw to “your law,” i.e., God’s Word. Note that the love is for God’s Word and not a sermon, commentary, or words about the Bible written or spoken by a human being. Sometimes a person can forget the word “your” in the expression “your law.” It is a fundamental truth that the Bible is God’s Word He has graciously given to us.
● The Psalmist has God’s Word constantly before him. While no one should expect to consciously meditate on the Bible 24/7, the biblical truths contained in God’s Word ought to be at the forefront of a person’s mind during his or her waking hours. To “meditate” means to engage and interact with the substance of the teachings contained in the Bible.
● Verses 98-100 present three great benefits of constant meaningful Bible engagement.
● Per verse 98, the fact that the Psalmist is always aware of the truth in the Bible makes him “wiser than my enemies.” In 2020, there are many enemies to Christians and so it is important for a believer to be “wiser” than those enemies.
● Per verse 99, the Psalmist has “more insight than all my teachers” because he meditates on God’s Word. In 2020, in the context of religious teaching, a believer faces many kinds of teaching where some is correct and some is false and even damning. Therefore, it is critical for a believer to possess God-given insight to be able to discern between what is correct and what is erroneous.
● Per verse 100, the Psalmist is “more discerning than those older than” him because he observes “your precepts.” God’s Word gives discernment to those who spend quality time in the Bible. In 2020, no one denies that more discernment is a beneficial thing for a believer
If you are reading this post and are not a Christian, unless God intervenes, your eternal destination is hell. But, your destiny can change. Today can be the day of your salvation. Please see my blog (https://stevebelsheim.com/2020/04/20/for-god-so-loves-you-2/) for a description of how you can be saved.
Please feel free to email me at email@example.com or leave comments in the comments section.
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