The longest chapter in Scripture is an enraptured poem, and its theme is not romance or sex or adventure or nature … it’s the Bible itself. The writer of Psalm 119 understood something we often miss—that the greatest beauty in the world is God’s Word. That’s why, in this four-part series, we’re going to reflect on the immense value of the Bible. The Bible is the astounding story of God’s love for us—a story so precious that no other book even compares.
Let me start with a candid admission: The Bible can be intimidating. For Christians, we don’t shy away from the Bible because we’re opposed to it; it’s just that, if we’re completely honest, we have a hard time getting excited about it. We often feel about the Bible like we do the “terms and conditions” page that comes up when Apple wants to put new software on our computers. We stare at page after page of tedious mumbo-jumbo, and just want to know, “Where’s the ‘accept all’ button?”
We’re not anti-Bible. We like the parts about Jesus. And some of the fun Old Testament stories. And most of the psalms. We just have a tough time seeing the forest for the trees.
And rightly so. There’s a lot going on. The Bible has over 1,600 commands. Forty different authors. Over 3,000 characters (31 of whom are named Zechariah!). And then there are the genealogies, where Abima-shazam begets Mel-shizzle, the son of a Banana—or, at least, that’s how it sounds to us.
So when we come across a poem like Psalm 119, in which the author repeatedly talks about his “delight” in God’s Word, we legitimately have no idea what he means. “Delight” is one of the last words we would use for our experience with Scripture. What is it about the Bible that he knew that we don’t? Why was his experience with the Bible “delight” while ours is drudgery?
There are several reasons (and we’ll get into the rest of them later this week). Today, I want to focus on just one: the Bible is revelation from God, not enlightened thoughts about God.
Nowhere in Psalm 119—or in the entire Bible—do we find Scripture referred to as our thoughts about God. It’s always God’s miraculous unveiling to us. You might not see that distinction as all that meaningful, but it makes all the difference in the world.