An intriguing account is seen in the Old Testament when the Israelites—three months out of bondage in Egypt—camped at Sinai when Moses went up the mountain to hear from God. The Ten Commandments were given, and Exodus 20 tells us the people saw the thunder and lightning and smoke in the mountain, they heard the trumpet, and they trembled with fear. They implored Moses to speak to them but said "do not have God speak to us or we will die."
Yet the reality is that we live because we have heard God speak. Not audibly, but we hear God speak through His Word. We live because God has recorded His promises, told us how we can become His children, how we can live eternally with Him—He has revealed Himself to us through His Word. It's to be greatly valued. And that is the theme—the Value of God's Word—that runs throughout this issue of the Western Recorder.
We rejoice that God has spoken to us through His Word. The idols in the Old Testament were gods that were seen and not heard; yet the living God is the God who is heard but not seen—at least not in form. Dr. Al Mohler wrote a book that sits on my bookshelf, "He Is Not Silent," and because God is not silent, we therefore must speak. What a privilege we enjoy to have God's Word at our fingertips, available 24/7, 365 days a year. The psalmist said his delight is in the law of the Lord, and he meditates on it day and night. Yet the majority of born-again believers will admit they don't devote sufficient time to studying God's Word.
One of the most popular songs on the radio these days is "You Say" by Lauren Daigel—a song that points us to Scripture, to trust what God says rather than what the world wants us to think. Some of those lyrics include:
You say I am loved when I can't feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
You say I am held when I am falling short
When I don't belong, oh You say that I am Yours
And I believe, oh I believe
What You say of me
Taking all I have and now I'm laying it at Your feet
You have every failure God, and You'll have every victory.
Take notice of Heb. 13:5 where we read "He has said." Alistair Begg comments that "if we could only grasp these words of faith, it would be an all-conquering weapon in our hand. The pangs of death, the snares and trials and troubles and temptations all seem like light afflictions when we boldly proclaim 'He has said.'"
I'm thankful …
• He has said I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but by me. (John 14:6)
• He has said come unto me all ye who are burdened and heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matthew 11:28-29)
• He has said he who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 10:29)
• He has said I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself, that where I am ye may be also. (John 14:2-3)
"Thus says the Lord" appears more than 400 times in the Bible, so that prompts us to lend our voices to repeat what Scripture records. May we value Scripture, may we simply follow the pattern of Martin Luther when he wrote, "I simply taught, preached and wrote God's Word; otherwise I did nothing … I did nothing. The Word did it all!"
He's right. Col 3:16 tells us that God will use His Word to change us: "Let the word of Christ dwell richly among you, in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another through psalms, hymns and spiritual song, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts."
Chip Hutcheson is interim managing editor of the Western Recorder, a monthly magazine of the Kentucky Baptist Convention. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.