The source that gives ultimate light is the sublimely described Scriptures.Psalm 19:7-9 has six synonyms for God’s Word and twelve qualities ascribed to it. Each of these 18 descriptions of the Word of God is an inspired photo of the divine power of God’s Word. It is sufficient. It can absolutely meet its purpose! That was until just recently. Up to modern times the Scripture have comforted, encouraged and kept God’s people going.
How Firm a Foundation
How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?
2 ‘Fear not, I am with thee; O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God, and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.
3 ‘When thro’ fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all-sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.
4 ‘The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I will not desert to his foes;
That soul, tho’ all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake!’
Standing on the Promises
Standing on the promises of Christ my King,
Thro’ eternal ages let His praises ring;
Glory in the highest, I will shout and sing,
Standing on the promises of God.
2Standing on the promises that cannot fail,
When the howling storms of doubt assail,
By the living Word of God I shall prevail,
Standing on the promises of God.
3Standing on the promises of Christ the Lord,
Bound to Him eternally by love’s strong cord,
Overcoming daily with the Spirit’s sword,
Standing on the promises of God.
4Standing on the promises I cannot fall,
List’ning ev’ry moment to the Spirit’s call,
Resting in my Savior as my all in all,
Standing on the promises of God.
Standing on the promises of God my Savior;
I’m standing on the promises of God.
Has it ever struck you how rapidly our culture has slid away from God? This morning we will examine just one reason why this moral erosion has crumbled the foundations of our nation. Ironically, the one culprit which has been the major cause of the rapid and deep slide into immorality in the last forty years is generally promoted rather than opposed by those leading the crusade against immorality. That culprit is psychology.
Psychology’s redefining of sin as sickness has excused immorality and thus encouraged it. Instead of being held accountable and called upon to repent, the sinner is diagnosed as in need of “therapy.” Everything from disobedience to murder is excused these days as some kind of syndrome or addiction.
Adulterers are now “sex addicts” whose insurance covers lengthy “treatment” at Christian psychiatric hospitals. Christ’s command to “Go and sin no more” (in 8:1 1) is “too simplistic” these days.
The explosion of crime, rebellion and immorality has coincided with the exponential growth of psychology since the early 1950s, a growth which is still accelerating. There was a 43 percent increase in the number of Americans in the 10-19 age bracket committed to psychiatric hospitals from 1980 to 1987, while the number of private psychiatric beds per 100,000 persons more than doubled in the five years from 1983 to 1988. What a growth industry! Psychology has been rightly called the only profession that “creates the diseases which it claims to cure.”
The firm discipline which children need and the Bible commends (Prv 13:24: 22:15; Heb 12:6, etc.) is now called “child abuse,” and children have even been taken by government agencies from Christian parents who lovingly “applied the rod.” What once was recognized as laziness, disinterest, stubbornness or rebellion is now excused as some new “syndrome.” The number of children diagnosed as having “learning disabilities” nearly tripled from 1977 to 1992! Difficult children are placed on Ritalin after they and their parents have been convinced by some therapist of their abnormality, a stigma (and excuse) which will probably be with them for life. In spite of its addictive nature, disputable evidence of its helpfulness, and many reported incidents of violence and suicide brought on by withdrawal from it, Ritalin is currently being given to about 1 million American children. Whatever did we do without it?!
Inventing new kinds of “mental illness” has increased the power of psychiatrists and psychologists over society. Americans now suffer by the millions from alleged maladies that were unknown a few years ago. These are defined in the “bible of mental illness” the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM). When first published in 1952 it listed 112 mental disorders, compared with a half dozen 100 years earlier. DSM-II in 1968 listed 163. There were 224 in DSM-III, published in 1980. DSM-IV came out in 1994 and the list of disorders had grown to 374! Whence this raging epidemic of new mental illnesses-or are we being duped?!
One newspaper editor wrote sarcastically, Does your 10-year-old dislike doing her math homework? Better get her to the nearest couch because she’s got No. 315.4, Developmental Arithmetic Disorder. Maybe you’re a teenager who argues with his parents. Uh-oh. Better get some medication pronto because you’ve got No. 313.9, Oppositional Defiant Disorder …. I am not making these things up. (That would be Fictitious Disorder Syndrome)…. I know there are some cynics out there who … wouldn’t be caught dead on a psychiatrist’s couch …. [Your unwillingness to seek professional help is itself a symptom of a serious mental problem. It’s right here in the book: 15.81, Noncompliance with Treatment Disorder.” (5)
These newly defined “disabilities” are creating a host of new “rights.” George Will points out , “You have a right to be a colossally obnoxious jerk on the job. If you are -just slightly offensive, your right will not kick in. But if you are seriously insufferable to colleagues at work, you have a right not to be fired, and you are entitled to have your employer make reasonable accomdations for your ‘disability.” ‘ In a word, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) encourages irresponsible and obnoxious behavior. The authority behind ADA is DSM-IV’s nearly 900 pages of folly. Will continues: Consider the DSM’s definition of “oppositional defiant disorder” [ODD] as a pattern of “negativisfic, defiant, disobedient and hostile behavior toward authority figures … often loses temper .. is often touchy … or spiteful or vindictive.” The DSM’s list of “personality disorders” includes “anti-social personality disorder” [ADD] (“a pervasive pattern of disregard for … the rights of others …. ); “histrionic personality disorder” [HPD] (“excessive emotionality and attentionseeking … inappropriately sexually provocative or seductive”); “narcissistic personality disorder” [NPD] (“grandiosity, need for admiration … boastful and pretentious … may assume they do not have to wait in line”), etc., etc.” (6)
Selfish and sinful behavior is no longer wrong but simply a sign that one is “special” and even entitled to “rights” denied to the rest of us! Is it because so many of those Christians leading the crusade against immorality in society are committed to “Christian” psychology that they fail to sound the alarm that psychology itself is the major contributor to today’s growing immorality? The gospel is the power of God unto salvation, not only from the penalty of sin but from its power in our lives. The church has lost confidence in God and His Word to meet our needs. The Christian mission-yes, Christianity itself-has been redefined. Let us return to the Lord and to His Word in obedience to our mission! TBC (7)
- In Psalm 19:7-8 we find six masterpieces of word painting. Each with a three part description.
- THE DIVINE TEACHER: The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: God’s truth that totally transforms
- THE DIVINE WITNESS: 9 the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. God’s testimony absolutely trustworthy.
- THE DIVINE DIRECTIONS: The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart. God’s statutes giving directions to only secure place in the universe.
- THE DIVINE DECREES: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. God’s commands giving a clear portrait of God’s non-optional absolutes.
- THE DIVINE CONDITION: The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever. This is fearing God, lovingly acknowledging by my actions God sees me.
- THE DIVINE DECISIONS: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether . God’s judgments, His final word on everything! Non-negotiable living.
- The CATALYST of the Word of God
- MAKES WISE
Look at Psalm 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. (KJV)
“The law of the LORD is”. The Word of God is the Divine Teacher. God is the instructor. The Word of God is His divine instructions. The book is the revelation of our Creator’s will! We have the LORD’S rules for living life.
“The law of the LORD is perfect “. The word perfect literally means: entire day, healthy vine, spotless, altogether directed toward the good of man; complete and entirely in accord with truth and fact. Thus it means lacking nothing, covering all aspects.
“The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul ” . Nephesh or soul speaks of the whole person. The Word of God can turn the whole person to God . Scroggie adds, “Refreshing the inner life as food to the body.”
So what do we have? An amazing promise.
- Divine instructions from God.
- All sided, able to touch every part of our life.
- Able to turn a whole person to God.
- That is no less than a totally transforming power.
The applications of Psalm 19 may be found in Psalm 119. In the 22 stanzas of the longest chapter in the Scripture we find a love song about the transforming power of the Word.
- Psalm 119:41 Let thy mercies come also unto me, O LORD, even thy salvation, according to thy word. (KJV)
- Psalm 119:50 This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me. (KJV)
- Psalm 119:81 My soul fainteth for thy salvation: but I hope in thy word. (KJV)
- Psalm 119:146-147 I cried unto thee; save me, and I shall keep thy testimonies. I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried: I hoped in thy word. (KJV)
- Psalm 119:158 I beheld the transgressors, and was grieved; because they kept not thy word. (KJV)
- Psalm 119:174 I have longed for thy salvation, O LORD; and thy law is my delight. (KJV)
A Session With the Divine Teacher
Is His Divine Word…
So how is it with you? The Word of God is designed to be our Divine Istructor. As our Divine Teacher, we sit in His classroom as He asks us:
- Is my Word at work in you? COMFORTING YOU? Psalm 119:82 Mine eyes fail for thy word, saying, When wilt thou comfort me? (KJV)
- Is my Word at work in you? REJOICING YOUR HEART? Psalm 119:111 Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart. (KJV)
- Is my Word at work in you? QUICKENING YOU? Psalm 119:50 This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me. (KJV) This is my comfort in my affliction, For Your word has given me life. (NKJV)
- Is my Word at work in you ? ILLUMINATING YOUR PATH? Psalm 119:130 The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple. (KJV)
- Is my Word at work in you? ADMONISHING YOU? Psalm 19:11Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. (KJV); 1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. (KJV)
- Is my Word at work in you? PRODUCING OBEDIENCE IN YOU?Deuteronomy 17:19-20 And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them: 20 That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel. (KJV)
- Is my Word at work in you? SANCTIFYING? John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. (KJV)
- Is my Word at work in you? PRODUCING FAITH IN YOU? John 20:31But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. (KJV)
- Is my Word at work in you? PRODUCING HOPE IN YOU? Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. (KJV)
- Is my Word at work in you? CLEANING YOUR HEART? Ephesians 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, (KJV)
- Is my Word at work in you? REGENERATING? James 1:18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created. (NIV)
- Is my Word at work in you? PROMOTING GROWTH IN GRACE? 1 Peter 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: (KJV)
- Our Amazing World of Nature, Readers digest Books, 1969, pp. 261-63.
2. Henry Morris, 9/96 Back to Genesis #93.
3. Billy Graham, APPROACHING HOOFBEATS, p. 13-14.
4. 1954, R.B. Munger.
5. Mark Syverud,Daily Messenger , (August 13, 1995).
6. The Bulletin, Bend, OR (4/4/96), A-8.
7. The Berean Call, 8/96.
8. World’s Last Mysteries, Readers Digest Books, p.
9. Who moved the Stone?
10. Exploring Our Living Planet, NGB, p. 39>
11. Exploring, p. 30.