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by Philip Owen

            “For thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.”  Have you ever considered this clause from the second verse in Psalm 138?  Apparently many have because Charles Spurgeon makes an unusual comment about the quantity of material concerning this one clause:  “We have collected a vast amount of literature upon it, but space will not allow us to put it all into our notes.”  What is it about this brief, somewhat cryptic bit of God-breathed words that has so captivated the minds and hearts of godly men?  I do not profess to know.  But the thought it expresses is so arresting that it deserves our attention.


            One thing this clause makes clear is that God Himself honors His Word.  Of all that is in the universe, He has chosen to exalt His Word.  It was not a casual work that He tossed off in a moment of boredom.  It is not even just one great work among many.  It is the work that God has magnified because it is perfect, holy, complete, living, powerful, and transformational.  It tells us all that God wants us to know and everything that we need to know.  It is important to God and ought to be important to us.


            Another thing this clause suggests is that God’s Word reveals what nothing else can.  Creation and nature tell us much about God, particularly about His power and His love.  The Word tells us more.  Reason reveals something of the wisdom and order of God and of how He thinks.  The Word tells us more.  Science explains some of the mysterious power in the workings of God.  The Word tells us more.  Philosophy and imagination try to explain the ways and purposes of God.  The Word truly reveals them.  Taken all together, the names of God reveal much about His nature and His works, but the Word of God expounds and expands beyond what can be communicated in a name.  In short, all the means by which man can know and understand combined cannot begin to match what God has communicated in His Word.  All that is essential to our eternal salvation and well-being can be known only through revelation, and God has been pleased to give us a complete revelation through His inspired Book


            The implications of these truths are both many and far-reaching.  Among them are these.  Religion not founded on the Word of God is foolish, futile, and ultimately fatal.  God’s Word is the authoritative guide for time and eternity.  The Bible is a book that must be believed, obeyed, and cherished.  It must guard our thoughts and desires, govern our wills, and guide our actions.  When it opposes what we want; it is right.  When it contradicts our thoughts and opinions; it is right.  When it thwarts our desires; it is right.  When it points out our sins, exposes our weaknesses and failings, and reveals our needs; it is right.  When it denies the validity of appearances; it is right.  When it contradicts circumstances; it is right.  When it runs counter to our emotions and even our reason; it and it alone is right.


            How wonderful God is that He has not left us to guess at His will and wonder at His purposes.  How gracious He is to have revealed to us all that we need to know in time to prepare us for eternity.  God gave us the Word.  He is faithful to His Word, fulfilling His prophecies and performing His promises.  If God so honors His Word, how ought we to esteem it?  All who believe and obey are saved and blessed.  All who deny and rebel are lost and damned.  “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away,” declared the Lord Jesus (Matt. 24:35), who also said that “the scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35).  Should not what is important to God be important and precious to us?  Is it?

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