For me, Psalm 119 is one of the best Psalms on which to meditate. Each time I ponder what the Psalmist says in Psalm 119, I better appreciate just how important God’s Word is to me, and how important it ought to be to every believer. This morning I briefly write about my thoughts on Psalm 119:99.
Psalm 119:99 reads in a couple of different English translations:
(ESV) 99 I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation.
(NLT) 99 Yes, I have more insight than my teachers, for I am always thinking of your laws.
This verse describes the same broad benefit of Bible engagement as did verse 98, which is Bible engagement gives understanding and insight. But, here, the understanding and insight are greater than the Psalmist’s teachers.
No doubt, we need Bible teachers and preachers who correctly exposit God’s Word consistent with 1 Timothy 3:2 (ESV):
2 Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,
But, because there is a lot of false teaching out there, a believer needs to be able to study the Bible on their own. By this I do not mean that Bible engagement in community is bad, in fact, I believe it is very good; but, to even participate well in community Bible engagement, a person has to know how to study the Bible. There is much benefit is being like the Bereans in Acts 17:10–11 (ESV):
10 The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.
The Psalmist again writes that God’s Word is his meditation or he is always thinking of God’s Word. The best way to acquire understanding and insight is through intense Bible engagement under the influence of the Holy Spirit.
The questions that arise from verse 99 are:
· Are you well-versed enough in God’s Word that you can recognize error when you see it?
· When someone advocates false doctrine or a false gospel, does a “red flag” go up or are you unable to recognize untruth, especially when packaged well?
Because there is so much false teaching under the guise of being “Christian,” if you are unable to discern what truth is and what falsity is, you are treading on thin ice. It is time to dust off the Bible and get to work.
Although the extent of a person’s Bible engagement (reading, studying, listening, mediating) may not be completely determinative of their spiritual condition; in my opinion, it is a strong indicator of salvation. If you are reading this post and your Bible engagement is very weak or essentially non-existent, possibly you ought to examine yourself consistent with what Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 13:5 (ESV):
5 Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!
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 and a more concise description at my (https://stevebelsheim.com/2020/10/20/there-is-hope-even-when-there-seems-to-be-no-hope-2/ ).
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