Friday, April 25, 2008

Awesome Authority

Bible Background

Psalms 119:137-144; 2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16, 17

Psalms 199, the longest psalms in the Bible, is an acrostic poem of 22 sections, one for each letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Verses 137-144 contain the lines that begin with the letter tsadhe. In this section and throughout the psalm, the writer uses several terms to describe God’s Word: “laws,” “statutes,” “words,” “promises,” “precepts,” “commands.” The writer expresses his joy in learning God’s Word, meditating on it, and guiding his life by it.

In the New Testament, Paul urges his disciples Timothy to handle God’s Word responsibly. Where the King International Version captures the meaning better: “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved.” Paul wants Timothy to understand, teach, and preach God’s message in a way that I will never have cause of which to be ashamed. When Paul calls Scripture the “word of truth,” he describes its quality of God’s true message for His people.

Later in this second letter to Timothy, Paul refers directly to Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). All of it is “God-breathed,” he says, as though God exhaled the very words into the minds of the individuals who wrote them down. More than that, Scripture proves itself useful in equipping God’s people to do good. It corrects our errors, highlights our sins, and teaches the Old Testament (all Scripture available at the time), what he says applies equally to the New Testament/

We call the Bible “God’s Word,” and so it is. But the biblical concept of the Word of God reaches beyond the printed page to include everything God communicates to His people. Our task is to respect God’s Word, put it into our minds and hearts, and let it guide our lives.

Devotional Thought

Authority…absolute…truth…the bottom line. No matter how you say it, God is in control. God’s Word is the final authority, think about your own life. Does God have control? Do you work in His kingdom without being ashamed of what or how much you do? Do you allow Scripture to correct and train you in righteousness? Pray, asking God to shape you into a person most useful for Him.

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