There is an old television commercial for E. F. Hutton where when Hutton speaks, everyone stops and listens. The point being, his investment wisdom would make one wealthy. There are always people who have such a great influence on us, we stop and listen to them; people such as parents, teachers, coaches and preachers. We look to them for wisdom and direction to make us better people and able to live better lives. We respect them and, therefore, what they say.
When we seek wisdom and direction in our lives, where do we go? Who better to look to than our creator, the God of heaven? David wrote: “The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple” (Psalm 19:9, NASB). But, when we need guidance and even correction, unfortunately, we look to the wise of this world to lead us. James wrote in James 3 that there is a wisdom that is ‘earthly, natural and demonic’ and then there is a wisdom that comes ‘from above.’ David said we are to look for wisdom and guidance from God’s law and His testimonies.
For the past several months we have been reading from the 119th Psalm in our assembly. There are 117 verses in this Psalm expounding on the wisdom and instruction of God’s word and the unsurpassed benefit found in it. The psalmist refers to the word with terms such as; law, testimony, His ways, statutes, righteous judgments, commandments, counselors and precepts. God has given, in His word, everything “pertaining to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3, NASB). If you want to know how to be a better husband, wife, child, citizen, friend, employee or employer, look to His word for direction. What is our attitude toward things of great value? The psalmist said of God’s word that they are to be treasured in verse 11. They are to be kept in verse 9. They are to be looked upon in verse 6. We take delight in them according to verse 16. They are something to be longed for in verse 40. They are to be loved in verse 47. What do we derive from such a treasure given to us from God? We learn purity (verse 9), not to sin (verse 11), to tell others (verse 13), diligence (verse 4), revival (verse 25), to know truth (verse 142) and hope for salvation lies in them (verse 166). This is why we have been reading this Psalm to the congregation.
Something I have observed over the years is our quiet attention to prayers during our assemblies. This is a good thing. However, often we do not give the reading of God’s word the same quiet reverence we give our own prayers. Is this the respect for the Scriptures the Psalmist wrote about? We must renew our love for the Word of God and value the words of Jesus. We must have the attitude expressed by Peter when many disciples stopped following Jesus and He asked if the 12 would go away too. Peter said “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life” (John 6:68, NASB). Since God’s word contains righteousness as the Psalmist said, why are we not hungering and thirsting after it? Why aren’t we starving for the words of eternal life? Paul told Timothy to “give attention to the public reading of Scripture” (I Timothy 4:13, NASB). Let’s love His word, trust its instruction and delight in the hope it gives us. Let’s read in public and privately. “Where else shall we go?”