The Book Above All Books (Psalm 19:7)
Psalm 19:7, The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
Here in Psalm 19, David describes God’s Word. He first describes the law of the LORD. The word perfect has the sense of not only ‘unblemished’ but also ‘complete’ as well. Switching to another synonym, David continues, the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. Here, David refers to God’s written Word as His testimony, or witness. It is sure, meaning that is it ‘faithful’, or ‘reliable.’
When asked what book he would like to have if stranded on a desert island, G.K. Chesterton replied, "Thomas' Guide to Practical Ship Building". He said he could not imagine himself in that kind of circumstance but if such an occasion arrived he would like to at least have a chance to get home.
Although Chesterton's answer seems logical and quite witty, there is another book that would be far more helpful - the Holy Bible. As John Quincy Adams said, "The Bible is the book of all others, to be read at all ages, and in all conditions in life".
The Bible is indeed for all conditions of human life. The Word of God has an answer for every question we face. It has light for our darkened paths. It is armor for the war-ravaged soldier. It is a cool drink of water for the dry, parched soul.
The Bible is the only book that reads the reader. It provides nourishment, direction, inspiration, comfort and rebuke. It is alive. Thomas Guide to Practical Ship Building may give instruction on how to escape a desert island, but the Bible gives instruction on how to get to our Heavenly home.
David Livingstone is said to have begun his expedition into the heart of Africa with over seventy books in three cases with a cumulative weight of almost two hundred pounds. A doctor and an explorer by trade, these books were precious as needed reference to Livingstone.
But as Livingstone’s party trekked into the heart of Africa, it became obvious that some of the books would have to go. Some of his carriers deserted, leaving less men to carry the load. Of those who remained, many were weakened through fatigue and fever. Over the journey, Livingstone’s library became smaller and smaller as he was forced to discard the weight of his books in the jungle.
When he reached the end of the expedition, he had one book remaining—the Bible. Out of a seventy-book library of materials needed for his trade, the only book that was truly indispensable was God’s Book.
Prayer: Lord, forgive me for the times I have treated Your Word casually, as if it’s any other book. Your Word is fire, cleansing me; a sword, cutting through my pretenses; a hammer, pounding my hard heart; a seed, growing life in me; milk and meat to nourish my soul; a light to illuminate my path; and a mirror to show me who I am. Thank You for Your Word and teach me to treat it as the Book above all other books. In the name of Jesus, the Word, amen.
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