Teach me thy statutes, O Lord

Published 5:00 am Saturday, July 13, 2019

The Bible is the most recognized book in the world. It influences individuals, families, cultures and nations. It was written over a period of 1,500 years by 40 different writers. The Bible refers to itself as the word of God, not the word of man.

The book of Psalms addresses the needs of life. Psalm 119 is called a “Song of Scriptures.” In this chapter, the Psalmist refers to himself 325 times as he draws from the word of God for life. Also, there are at least eight different words defining the Bible’s relationship to us. The chapter begins with “Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord.” The word of God is not a list of laws we are chained to, but blessings on those that love this blessed old book, who are drawn to it as a magnet.

The Psalmist also uses the word statutes, meaning to inscribe or to cut into. This refers to the everlasting nature of scriptures; today we would use the phrase “set in stone.” The Bible statutes set boundaries for life. God our Creator knows our needs and what is best for us. His regulations and laws are to protect us through our journey from life. Parents spend time setting boundaries for their children’s safety and direction for life. If we love our children that much, think of how much more our Heavenly Father loves us. He wants to protect us from making bad choices in our lives through our mistakes and the mistakes of others by trusting God’s perfect wisdom. His statutes will protect us from being a victim of our culture. The human race can be cruel with no regard for their fellowmen. The statutes of God are warning signs and flashing lights to protect us.

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The word of God is not up for debate. Either we receive by obeying the scriptures or reject by disobeying them. When obeying the word of God, we are able to get the most out of this life as we are able to have victory over what is within and outside of us. Eternity will be sweeter to those who follow God’s direction for life as we prepare for everlasting life. Jim Elliot said, “no man is a fool who gives up that which he cannot keep, to gain that which he cannot lose.” The statutes reveal the difference between false riches and true riches.

The statutes are not designed to make us miserable or happy in life. Growing in knowledge and wisdom of God’s word will give us the ability to do what is right. There is no temptation if there is no cost to do right. There will always be a cross to carry for the Lord. We will not always be happy from obeying His statutes. The pleasure of the flesh does not last very long, but God’s blessings are the peace, contentment, satisfaction from following Him.

God’s word will never need changing. Even though our culture may change, human nature does not.

STEVE CONWELL, pastor of Maranatha Baptist Church, is heard morning on WFLO and WVHL in “A Thought For Today.” His email address is SteveConwell@outlook.com.