As I work on preparation for our conference and debate next week, I cannot help but rejoice, repeatedly, in the wondrous glory of God’s Word. Over and over again, as it comes under the most close scrutiny and attack, it shows itself to stand far above its most voracious opponents.
There truly is a confidence that comes from facing the “best” the enemy has to offer. As I work in my third decade of apologetic ministry, I can honestly say that I have grown in my love for the Word of God, but also in my appreciation of its consistency, its depth, its simple truth. I am not talking about closing my eyes and whistling in the dark and “pumping up” my faith. I’m talking about seeing God’s truth vindicated over and over again from numerous different directions. It is truly a blessing.
Psalm 119 is a tremendous hymn of praise regarding God’s commandments, His word, His truth. The tenth verse reads,
With my whole heart I seek you;
let me not wander from your commandments!
I was pondering this text today in light of the past number of months of study on the sufficiency of Scripture, and especially the fact that men can invest their lives in the study of the Bible, its history and text, and yet remain utterly untouched by the Spirit that breathed it out. There is obviously a very spiritual element to the Psalmist’s relationship to the Word. There is something important about seeking God with one’s “whole heart.” Half-hearted devotion to truth is a recipe for disaster (remember what Paul said about those who refuse to love the truth?) And who but the Spirit of God can work within our darkened hearts that kind of consistent, whole-hearted attitude? But note as well the plea of the Psalmist: “let me not wander from your commandments.” That is a good translation of the Hebrew Massoretic Text, but I noted something interesting in the LXX. There we find the Greek rendering the Hebrew with the term avpw,sh|, which speaks more to the concept of rejection than to mere “wandering.” It is often translated “push aside” or “refuse to listen to.” The unregenerate heart cannot long handle the sacred scriptures without finding a way to attack them and undermine the testimony they bear to the heart, to the conscience. There is no neutrality in response to God’s Word.
I am truly praying that God will make the upcoming conference, debates, and the teaching sessions with such godly servants of the truth as Jim Renihan and Tom Ascol, along with the ministry of Steve Camp in music, one of the greatest times of ministry and confirmation in the truth we have ever experienced. I know I pray God will use me as a blessing to God’s people at this time. Oh Lord, never let us wander from, or put aside, your Word!