Psalm 19 and Your Bible What does it say and why should you care? By Debra Torres
Books have taken me on wild adventures in my life.
Because of them, I’ve had the unique opportunity to travel from the Shire to Mount Doom with two homesick hobbits.
I’ve explored the open prairie with a little girl named Laura and her brindle bulldog Jack.
And I’ve even fished with the old man and the sea.
For as a long as I can remember, I’ve loved reading. And I can still feel the rush of excitement that would course through me when I entered a library ready for a new find.
Books have given me the chance to step into someone else’s world.
They’ve taken me back in time, forward in time, and landed me in present-day situations that were far different than my own.
I’m grateful for the opportunity and ability to read, and I’d hate to think of what I would have missed had I not taken advantage of it.
When I first became a Christian, I was a sophomore in high school and a bit green in my knowledge of the Bible. Oh, I had gone through spurts of reading it, but more often than not, it collected dust on my dresser.
But after I got saved, all of that changed.
I remember going through my first Bible study with a friend and committing myself to reading a chapter of the Bible a day. I’ve stuck to that commitment for thirty-two years now.
I’ve been back and forth in the Old and New Testaments more times than I can count and, as you can expect from the Word of God, I’m always finding something new.
On Sunday, the pastor of our church gave us a simple Bible quiz. And in it were some basic questions for us to answer. As a congregation, we took the test and people shouted out answers to questions like, “How many books are there in the New Testament?” and “Name the earthly man who authored the Pentateuch.”
The test, our pastor said, had been his mother’s and he told us that 15 or 20 years ago when the test was made, it was considered elementary because people knew their Bibles. Sadly today, with many Americans reading less and less of God’s Word, he said it would now be considered an advanced test.
Not read the Bible! It’s true though isn’t it?
How many people do you know who delve into the Word of God daily? I’m guessing less and less.
I have a Christian friend who chooses not to read the Bible. To her, the graphic parts that come with war, sacrifice and bloodshed are a bit too true to life and she chooses to remain fairly ignorant of the scriptures.
I can say that this church-going Christian friend has had very little growth in God in all the years that I have known her. And, according to my pastor, this kind of stunted growth is typical of those who don’t read the Bible on a consistent basis.
Psalm 19 talks about the importance of God’s Word.
It highlights first God’s obvious presence in nature then goes on to emphasize the Bible, its importance and how it can influence our lives. According to the Psalm, some special benefits in reading it are: “reviving the soul, making wise the simple, giving joy to the heart and giving light to the eyes.”
Wow. Who doesn’t want those things? Some of them sound like things we try to attain through medicines and nutritional supplements!
But the true source of these benefits lies in the book.
The commentary in my Life Application Bible says this: “When we think of statutes, precepts and commands, we often think of rules that keep us from having fun. But here we see the opposite – law that revives us, makes us wise, gives joy to the heart, gives light to the eyes, warns us, and rewards us. That’s because God’s laws are guidelines and lights for our path, rather than chains on our hands and feet. They point at danger and warn us, and then point at success and guide us.”
A few years ago, we belonged to a church that had an active Bible quiz program for its youth. From time to time, teens would get up and recite for us from the gospels.
It was amazing to listen to one particular young lady who would take on entire chapters from the Bible.
Straight from memory, she would go through verse after verse.
I remember the Bible quiz coach telling me one day that the most important part of quizzing was that the kids were getting the Word of God in them so that it was something they could draw from their whole lives.
The Bible says that the Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God and its up to us to equip ourselves daily with it. There have been many difficult times in my life when the Holy Spirit would pop a scripture into my mind that ministered to my heart and helped to get me through.
But what might have happened if I had never taken the time to learn God’s Word?
I’m guessing a big fat nothing.
Our pastor says: “We are going to walk into the battle with our arms tied behind our back if we are not rooted in the Word of God.”
7 The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. 8 The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. 9 The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous.
10 They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb. 11 By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward.