“I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.“ (Psalm 138: 2)
This verse is not merely a general statement about reverence toward God’s words. It is a clear declaration of authority. God, Himself, has established this absolute priority.
Allow this to sink in. God places His words above His name!
Preservation Applies to Every Word
Every word is critical. God has preserved His words through His sovereign providence down through every generation. And those words are placed in higher importance than His name. This preservation is not just speaking of general principles or ideas or the “essence” of truth, as some men falsely claim. Every word has been perfectly preserved.
The place of authority that the Word of God has in our hearts determines our obedience to Christ. We cannot walk in the Spirit unless the sword of the Spirit, God’s words, are placed above all else in our lives.
The reason for this priority is because we cannot truly know Him apart from His Word. No tradition, philosophy, “commandments of men” or creed can replace the word by word revelation of God to man.
Nothing is Equal to His Word
We struggle with Christian groups that would place signs and wonders, extra-biblical revelations, prophecies, Christian psychology and many other philosophies above the completed Word of God.
We also struggle with those who would place church traditions or creeds in a position equal to the Word. Or use the traditions to explain the Word. That is, for all practical purposes, placing traditions above the Word.
It is interesting to note that at least three main religious groups do this. Catholicism, Mormonism and Judaism each base their teachings on some part of the Bible. Yet their traditions and church leadership take priority over the Word. The Bible is interpreted and accepted only from the authority of their tradition. The leadership of those religions determines truth. The common man is not permitted to search the scriptures and arrive at truth on his own. He must submit himself under the teaching of the church or temple or synagogue.
But God has not made us dependent on any man or system between us and Himself. We are each able to come directly to Christ based solely on His Word. All that we need in order to know Him and walk with Him is in the Scriptures.
“Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” ( John 5:39 )
Why the “Dark Ages” were Dark
The “Dark Ages” may have been so called due to the removal of the Word of God from the hands of the common people. The words were kept hidden away by the religious authorities who set themselves up as the interpreters and dispensers of truth. Salvation and communion with God was locked up within the religious systems. Salvation was dispensed by the systems.
It is interesting how the secular world likes to teach that the Bible kept people in darkness during the Middle Ages. But this is contrary to the facts. The Bible was locked away from most people. Those people found to be in possession of a Bible, which they read and kept privately, were sent to prison, had their property taken away, were tortured and put to death. The darkness was due to the lack of Biblical exposure. Not the other way around.
We see the same problem today. The world would silence the truth of the scriptures. It wants nothing of the gospel. Or it wants a distortion of it. A Humanistic, Universalist gospel. One that has all the trappings of sentimental and experiential beauty without the absolutes of God’s truth. All of tolerance and open-mindedness. Nothing about Christ alone, by faith alone, by the Scriptures alone.
This is why the Christian must be vigilant. He has been given a charge to follow and guard the Words of God.
To keep every word.