Halfway around the world from me, a man slips a piece of paper from his pocket, having memorized the contents. He quickly stashes it into a hiding place so another person from his group can pick it up later. He walks away, hoping that no one was watching.
This is not the fodder of spy novels, but of Christians who live in countries where they cannot freely live out their faith. The information on the paper is Scripture, and they take turns with even one page’s worth of the Bible to increase their knowledge of God’s Word. It is a great treasure to each believer, for the hope that it has given them in their lives.
I pray for these believers, and aim to cherish the Bible just as much as they do. Psalm 19:7-11 NASB highlights how the Bible changes our lives.
- The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul (v. 7.) Many of us might pick up a Bible to find refreshment or be encouraged. When this Psalm was written, the first five books of the Bible, or the Torah, was what was accessible to some, at least to hear. There is a lot of history, law, and even ancestry in here, building the foundation for the rest of the Bible. But you aren’t as likely to find a Bible verse from this section on a coffee cup or an inspirational poster. “Reviving the soul” here is closer to meaning turning the soul back to God. In Nehemiah 8, people heard God’s Word after a long absence and began weeping! Indeed, it can change hearts.
- The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple (v. 7.) Some of the wisest people I know aren’t good at math. Whether people have a lot of education or struggled to complete high school, the Bible gives wisdom to us as we study it and apply it carefully.
- The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes (v. 8.) As my eyes grow older with the rest of my body, I don’t always see things right on the first try. I often need better light and closer examination to make sure I understand. So it goes with our lives! The Bible sheds light on our circumstances as we apply the commands and principles found in it.
- Your servant is warned by them; in keeping them there is great reward (v. 11.) In reading the Bible and keeping His commandments, God rewards us. We will enjoy some of it here, but sometimes obedience to God will come at a cost in this world. Instead, we should seek to lay up our “treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal.” (Matthew 6:20 NASB.)
The bestselling book of all time, the Bible is “more precious than gold” (v. 10.) May we hold the Bible dearly to our hearts and live it in our lives each day, and allow it to change our lives.
“The Law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether.
They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much pure gold;
Sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover, Your servant is warned by them;
In keeping them there is great reward.”
Psalm 19:7-11 NASB