Gaining an Appreciation for the Bible

“It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes. The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver” (Ps. 119:72-72).

These passages emphasize a great appreciation for the word of God.  There are times in life when the word of God comes to mean more and more.  Appreciation is a developed trait.  It is a quality of the human spirit that learns the worth of truly valuable things.  Consider times in life when appreciation for the Bible grows.

  1. Times of Confusion. Certain situations in life can cause the mind to be confused.  It is written in the psalms, “Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart. But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well-nigh slipped. For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked” (Ps. 73:1-3).  Jeremiah said, “Righteous art thou, O Lord, when I plead with thee: yet let me talk with thee of thy judgments: Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? wherefore are all they happy that deal very treacherously?” (Jer. 12:1).  The principle of sowing and reaping has always been a valid concept for living (cf. Gal. 6:7-8).  The problem is that the wicked do not always reap in this life what they have sown and the righteous do not always in this life reap what they have sown.  The full reaping of what one has sown is after the day of judgment (cf. 1 Tim. 5:24-25).  Wickedness does seem to gain and righteousness does seem to continually suffer.  The psalmist of Psalm 73 finally saw the truth of the whole matter when he went into the place of the reading of the scriptures.  It is stated, “Until I went into the sanctuary of God: then understood I their end” (Ps. 73:17).  He appreciated the Bible for revealing what man struggles to understand in his own wisdom.  Real wisdom is from the scriptures (cf. 2 Tim. 3:15-17).
  2. Times of Crisis. Life is as Job stated, “Man that is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble” (Job 14:1).  Jesus said of time, “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” (Matt. 6:34).  Paul wrote, “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Eph. 5:15-16).  What does one do when major problems arise?  There are conflicts with people, unforeseen health issues and the list goes on.  Going to the Bible first and foremost is both prudent and productive.  When Jesus faced the devil, he leaned on “it is written” (Matt. 4:4, 7, 10).  The exhortation by Peter to those suffering Christians (cf. 1 Peter 4:16) still holds true value for today, where he wrote, “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:2).
  3. Times of Crying. Sorrow is a present reality in this world.  Disappointments, discouragement and even death bring their own forms of crying.  The Bible states, “And let us not be weary in well-doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Gal. 6:9).  Again, “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you” (1 Peter 5:7).  When death comes, Paul wrote at the end of 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17, “Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thess. 4:18).  The Bible truly is as stated, “This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me” (Ps. 119:50).                                                                      

Jimmy Clark