12 And further, my son, be admonished by these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is wearisome to the flesh. 13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all. (Ecclesiastes 12:12–13, NKJV)
As you see from the above notation, this is the 1200th Sword Tip. Seeing that number reminded me of today’s passage. People will always write books. And, people will continue to read and study them. Yet, making intellectual pursuit the goal of one’s life “is grasping for the wind,” as Solomon explained in Ecclesiastes 1:17-18. God’s word, the Bible, is complete; it will not be added to by God, and it cannot be improved upon by human wisdom (2 Timothy 3:16-17; Jude 3; Revelation 22:18-19). Bible study is essential. But, Bible study is not an end in itself. Reading and knowing God’s word is vanity, unless we “fear God and keep His commandments” (verse 13). That is the purpose of life. The Bible teaches us why to fear God and how to obey Him. This is why we read, learn and study the Bible – so that we may live reverently, obey God completely, and thereby, fulfill our God-given purpose. By God’s good grace, may that ever be the purpose that drives our lives (2 Peter 3:17-18).
Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law. (Psalm 119:18, NKJV)
The law of God is full of extraordinary things. There we find things too difficult for man, yet fully accomplished by our God. We marvel at the fulfilled prophecies it contains, where God has declared the end from the beginning, bringing about His purposes (Isaiah 42:9; 46:10). We are humbled as we see God’s great love and amazing plan to save us from our sins through the sacrifice His Son for us (1 John 4:9-10; Philippians 2:5-8). Gazing into the law of God, we learn of faith, of devotion and sacrifice, of God’s mercy, and justice. Therein we perceive God’s perfect standard of truth, and its power to convert the soul (Psalm 19:7; Hebrews 4:12). Take time each day to look into God’s law. Allow the Lord to open your eyes to His glory, power and blessings. Read the Bible and see it for what it is; the word of God that can save you, guide you through life to the shores of eternity and the everlasting home of the saved (Psalm 119:41, 105; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 4:7-8).
5 Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. 6 Do not add to His words, lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar. (Proverbs 30:5–6, NKJV)
As an assayer tests the purity of silver and gold, God’s word stands the test of purity. It has been tried in the crucible of conflict, rebellion, rejection, and alienation by men. With the word of God, His people have weathered every storm of attack from faithless foes. His word continues to stand, while its adversaries lie in the ash heap of history. Undaunted, men and women of faith trust in the word of God, and are delivered. That is why they dare not add to it or take away from it. It does its work as it stands, undefiled and incorruptible. We shall never be persuaded that God’s word is out of date – far from it. It is living and active, powerful and pure. God’s word is able to save the lost and protect the saved. It is indeed “a shield to those who put their trust in Him.” Respect it, believe it, obey it. To do less will bring God’s rebuke upon those who simply pretend to trust Him.
I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth; I did not say to the seed of Jacob, ‘Seek Me in vain’; I, the Lord, speak righteousness, I declare things that are right. (Isaiah 45:19, NKJV)
God has revealed Himself openly and not in dark caves. Divine truth is not hidden. It is not ambiguous like the heathen oracles of the idolatrous nations round about ancient Israel. In our day, many believe truth is relative, entirely subject to individual feelings and preferences. No. Truth is not superstition elevated to dogma. Truth does not vacillate like a shifting shadow. It is God Himself who speaks truth. He declares what is right. The Bible, God’s word, is right. It is true. In His righteous word we seek for God and His will, and our search is not in vain. Where are you looking for God? You will find Him in His righteous word. “Let God be true but every man a liar” aptly emphasize that God’s word is always right (Rom. 3:4). Build your faith on the solid foundation of God’s word. It is right.
And He said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables?” (Mark 4:13, NKJV)
Do you want to understand the Bible? If you do, you can. It is not beyond your capability. It is not shrouded in dark sayings that prevent comprehension. Understanding all the Scriptures, like understanding the parables, requires an honest heart that listens and receives God’s word in order to follow it and bear its fruit in your life (Mk. 4:20; Lk. 8:15). Hard hearts, like hard ground, are closed and reject a knowledge of God’s word (Mk. 4:14-15). Like stony ground, shallow, emotional minds do not invest the time and effort needed to know and grow in the truth (Mk. 4:16-17). Like thorn-infested soil, hearts consumed with “the desire of other things” do not give due attention to knowing and obeying God’s word (Mk. 4:18-19). Which soil are you? You see, most people do not understand the Bible because they choose not to understand it; not because it cannot be understood. Now, that’s not too hard to understand, is it?
3 how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, 4 by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), 5 which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets… (Ephesians 3:3–5, NKJV)
God miraculously revealed His gospel plan to Paul and the other apostles of Christ. You can understand what Paul knew about God’s great redemptive plan “when you read” what he wrote. To paraphrase Paul, “You can know what I know when you read what I wrote.” The Bible is not impossible to understand. Truly, it is a revelation, not a concealment. You are responsible for reading and learning it for yourself so that your faith will be in the powerful word of God and not in the will and wisdom of men (1 Cor. 2:4-5). Spend time reading the Scriptures every day. By doing so you will come to know God’s will for your life and, by then doing His will, you will please God (2 Cor. 5:9).