One of the things that is absolutely astounding to me is when I see professing Christians trying to create a division between God and his Word. That is, to attempt to disconnect what he says from who he is.[1. And I can already imagine someone preparing to cry “bibliolater”!] To treat the Bible as a barrier for knowing and loving the Lord.
But this is something I don’t see the writers of Scripture even attempt to do. Instead, they, especially the psalmists, have a deep and abiding affection for the Scriptures. They love the Bible. They delight in it. They are passionate about God’s commands and self-disclosure, because through it they know him. That’s what we see all throughout Psalm 119—an expression of this passion.
- “I am continually overcome with longing for your judgments.” (20
- “…your decrees are my delight and my counselors.” (24)
- “Never take the word of truth from my mouth, for I hope in your judgments.” (43)
- “I delight in your commands, which I love.” (47)
- “Lord, I remember your judgments from long ago and find comfort.” (52)
- “I long for your salvation; I put my hope in your word.” (81)
- “How sweet your word is to my taste—sweeter than honey in my mouth.” (103)
- “I have your decrees as a heritage forever; indeed, they are the joy of my heart.” (111)
- “I open my mouth and pant because I long for your commands.” (131)
The Psalmist’s affection for the Word, for the Law, is inspiring—and convicting. I want to have that kind of passion for the Word. I want to be able to say that the word of God is better than anything, better than gold or silver (72). And I want that passion to fuel everything I do, from how I work and serve my church, to how I treat my wife and children.
So where does that kind of passion start?
By opening the book. If I want that same kind of passion, I have to go to the same source. I have to read the book. I have to commune with the One who wrote the book. I have to know him through this book. There’s two ways about it. The Bible isn’t a barrier to knowing and loving God. Reading it is how I grow that love and knowledge.