Family Bible Study lesson for Feb. 9: The Bible - Its Value
January 17 2003 by John S. Pond Jr. , Psalm 119:9-16; Jeremiah 36:2-3, 21-24, 27-28

Family Bible Study lesson for Feb. 9: The Bible - Its Value | Friday, Jan. 17, 2003

Friday, Jan. 17, 2003

Family Bible Study lesson for Feb. 9: The Bible - Its Value

By John S. Pond Jr. Psalm 119:9-16; Jeremiah 36:2-3, 21-24, 27-28

A recent survey revealed that nine out of 10 adults owned at least one Bible and most read it during the year. Although a huge majority claimed to know all of its basic teachings, six out of 10 rejected the existence of Satan, seeing him as a symbol for evil. Close to half said that Jesus committed sins, and 44 percent contend that the Bible, Book of Mormon and the Koran are different expressions of the same spiritual truths. Analysts concluded: "Over the past 20 years we have seen the nation's theological views slowly become less aligned with the Bible. Americans still revere the Bible and like to think of themselves as Bible-believing people, but the evidence suggests otherwise ... We remain a largely Bible-illiterate society ..."

Regardless of what the public may voice, the Bible is a relevant, powerful expression of God's will and redemptive activity in this world. It has great value.

A purifying treasure

Psalm 119:9-11

In the Old Testament, the spoken word was considered a living expression, conveying the power and authority of the speaker. This is especially evident in the word of God. Rather than being independent of God, the word of God is "God accomplishing his will." The focal point of Psalm 119 is the decisive role the word of God and His law plays in every sphere of life - the actualizing of God's will. For the psalmist it was the very foundation for each person, corporately and individually.

The psalmist asked: "How can I keep my way pure? How can I face the many struggles of life without compromise ..." Almost in the same breath he exclaimed, "I have filled my heart with your word and presence, O Lord!" By filling the heart with God's Spirit and word, no room remains for foreign influences (Col. 3:16).

According to Prov. 2:10-12, by filling the heart and mind with God's word "discretion will preserve you and understanding will keep you."

A delightful treasure

Psalm 119:12-16

The psalmist opened the treasures of God's word, His statutes and testimonies. As the reality of God's revelation of His will envelops him, he exults: "Teach me Your statutes!" More than anything money can buy, he relishes "the way of (God's) testimonies." He delightfully involves himself in the Lord's statutes, God's unchangeable words of revelation. It now becomes an essential part of his life.

A purposeful treasure

Jeremiah 36:2-3

During the 23rd year of Jeremiah's ministry, Babylon had established itself as a world power by defeating Egypt. At this critical juncture, God commanded His prophet to write down all the words He had spoken to Jeremiah concerning Israel, Judah and the nations. He was to give a written record of God's prophetic revelations of impending judgment.

The reason was twofold. First, it was to witness the reality of God's holiness and judgment, "every disaster I plan to inflict on them." As a witness, God's word serves as an invitation, a gracious encouragement for the people of Judah to change, "abandoning their wicked ways" (Jer. 26:3). Second, it was to serve as a declaration and summons. If His people would read and experience His word, then and only then would God forgive their rebellion, their iniquity and restore them. Thus, the word of hopelessness becomes a word of great hope for the nations and especially God's people.

An indestructible treasure

Jeremiah 36:21-24, 27-28

Not everyone willingly receives God's word of judgment, thus depriving themselves of God's resultant comforting word of forgiveness and mercy.

Challenged by Jeremiah's "scroll," Jehoiakim, Judah's notorious king, responded by destroying it. He derived more pleasure from burning the document with fire than humbly receiving it. In the face of God's penetrating word the king and his attendants responded with indifference.

Earlier in Judah's history, King Josiah tore his clothes in repentance when the word was read to him. Jehoaikim tore the "word" in defiance.

God's word is indestructible. An individual or group rejection of the word cannot destroy it in any final way. "The word of God is not chained" (2 Timothy 2:9)!

Though the king dismissed it by literally destroying it, God used His prophet to produce another copy.

Today many people reject God's word. But just as judgment followed Judah's rejection of God's word, so today it comes on those who continue to reject it. "The word of God stands forever" (Isaiah 40:8).

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1/17/2003 12:00:00 AM by John S. Pond Jr. , Psalm 119:9-16; Jeremiah 36:2-3, 21-24, 27-28 | with 0 comments
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