Word of God – Part 3
Psalms 119:98-100 “Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me. I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes. I have more understanding than the elders, for I obey your precepts.”
When we look back into Western history and we see the importance of the Word of God – we are astounded. However, in many of our schools and homes people are ignorant of the important role that the Word of God has played in our lives and societies.
The Bible Literacy Project states: “Scripture begins with God creating the world, but there is something these verses don’t tell you: The Bible has itself created worlds. Wherever you stand on the spectrum from devout to atheist, you must acknowledge that the Bible has been a creative force without parallel in history.”
If one was to go to the apotheosis of the French Middle Ages – Sainte Chapelle – one will see that the walls are made almost entirely of stained glass. Writer Shalom Spiegel said: “It has been rightly called the most wonderful of pictured Bibles.”
Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch said: “The King James Bible has influenced our literature more deeply than any other book – more deeply even than all the writings of Shakespeare – far more deeply.” The poet and painter William Blake calls the Old and New Testaments “The Great Codes of Art.”
Abraham Lincoln, one of our great Presidents said in his inaugural address: “With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right.” The historian William Wolf said this about Lincoln’s address “with its fourteen references to God, four direct quotations from Genesis, Psalms, and Matthew, and other allusions to Scriptural teachings it reads like a supplement to the Bible.” Lincoln’s comment about the Bible: “The best gift God has given to man. But for it we could not know right from wrong.” Isn’t this one of the problems that we have today? We do not know right from wrong. We are now calling good evil and evil good.
Ronald Reagan called America “a great shining city on a hill,” three-and-a-half centuries after John Winthrop (sailing for Boston in 1630) anticipated a new community that would be “as a City upon a Hill” invoking the famous verse in Matthew, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid,” (Matthew 5:14) which harks back in turn to the prophets (Isaiah 2:2-3, Micah 4:2) and the book of Proverbs 4:18. John Livingstone Lowe called the King James Bible “the noblest monument of English prose” (1936); George Saintsbury called it “probably the greatest prose work in any language” (1887). Nearly two millennia earlier, the great Pharisee rabbi Hillel described the ideal life: “loving peace and pursuing peace; loving humanity and bringing it close to the Torah.”
A survey was done by two professors to see who had made the greatest impact upon our nation. They went through thousands of speeches, essays, etc. to find who was quoted the most. To their surprise they discovered that the Bible was the one that was quoted the most. What an impact the Bible made upon our nation in its early developing years.
Some of our founding fathers like Winthrop, Adams, Lincoln, and thousands of other ordinary citizens found a good destiny in the Bible and made it their own, but today the Bible is fast becoming a book that just sits on the book shelf and gathers dust.
Historian G.M. Trevelyan said: “We aren’t discussing a merely ‘popular’ or ‘influential’ book. We are talking revolution. In 16th and 17th-century Britain, the English Bible was capable of affecting the first thoughts people had on waking, their last thoughts before sleeping, their dreams, and their nightmares. British homes were decorated biblically – with Bible quotations or pictures painted or papered on the walls or printed on cloth wall-hangings. British life grew and flourished on a biblical trellis. Centuries later, Quiller-Couch wrote of the Bible in Britain that the Bible is in everything we see, hear, feel, because it is in us, in our blood.”
Reformation brings us back to the Word of God. My prayer is that God will give His people a hunger for the Word of God. Like Job said: “I have esteemed your word more than my necessary food.”