The Righteous God’s Righteous Word
July 11, 2021
Puritan John Rogers, who died as a martyr under Queen Mary in 1555, was a lover of the Word of God. One Sunday, he petitioned his people to adhere to the Bible by warning them what God might say about their neglect of the Scriptures:
“I have trusted you so long with my Bible…it lies in [some] houses all covered with dust and cobwebs, you care not to listen to it. Do you use my Bible so? Well, you shall have my Bible no longer.” Rogers then picked up his Bible and started walking away from the pulpit.
Then he stopped, fell on his knees, and took on the voice of the people, who pleaded, “Lord, whatever Thou dost to us, take not Thy Bible from us; kill our children, burn our houses, destroy our goods; only spare us Thy Bible, take not away Thy Bible.” [Beeke, Puritan Evangelism, 1.]
In a world in which the Bible is so readily available to us (I have 20+ copies in my office and probably a couple dozen more at home and dozens on my phone and iPad), it is easy to become complacent and lazy about the Word. We make resolutions at the beginning of each year that “this year will be different.”
To help us with that commitment, on the first and middle Sunday of every year, our worship is focused on Scripture. That is true again this morning, as we come again to Psalm 119. This Psalm is a familiar passage that affirms the effectiveness of the Word of God. It is an extended acrostic, organized around the Hebrew alphabet; each line of the 22 stanzas begins with the successive letter of the alphabet. Twice a year we look at one of those stanzas to remind us of the priority of God’s Word. Today we are looking at the stanza that begins with the letter Tsade (vv. 137-144). In these verses, the psalmist affirms the righteousness of God and then relates that righteousness to the righteousness of His Word — in all our hard circumstances:
God is right and speaks right in all our “wrong” circumstances.
The psalmist makes three statements about God’s righteous Word…
- The Righteous Nature of God and His Word (vv. 137-138)
- What God is is Righteous (v. 137a, 138)
- What God Says is Righteous (v. 137b)
- A Righteous Response to God’s Righteous Word (vv. 139-143)
- Stand for God’s Word (v. 139)
- Love God’s Righteous Word (v. 140)
- Remember God’s Righteous Word (v. 141)
- Delight in God’s Righteous Word (vv. 142-143)
- A Righteous Request of Our Righteous God (v. 144)
Download the rest of this sermon on Psalm 119:137-144.
The audio will be posted on the GBC website by tomorrow.
Photo from Wikimedia Commons.