My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you; keep my commandments and live; keep my teaching as the apple of your eye; bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart. - Proverbs 7:1-4
How should we view the word of God? How should we treat it, or use it? What is its value in the daily routine of living? Where should it stand in our personal list of priorities? This brief section of the wisdom of Proverbs gives us an insight into the answers to these questions.
Psalm 1 is one of the most significant Biblical passages dealing with the importance of Holy Scripture. David wrote that the man is blessed whose "delight is in the law of the Lord" and who "meditates day and night" on the will of God. He is like a strong, fruit-bearing tree and can trust in the Lord's knowledge of his righteousness.
In Bible school, we sang the children's song that claims that "the more we read the Bible, the Bible, the Bible, the more we read the Bible, the happier we'll be." Everyday experience proves to us the truthfulness of this little melody. But the claim goes against the prevailing wisdom of the world. Most people, even many Christians, ignore the Bible. This may seem to be a huge exaggeration. But questioning reveals that many are ignorant of a lot of the most basic facts of God's will, not to mention the principles taught by the Lord.
The need for a better knowledge of the Bible is obvious. When we face difficulty and temptation, the human tendency is to try to overcome it ourselves. Human pride naturally leads us away from dependence on God. In some cases, we have spent so little time actually searching God's will, there is little knowledge or understanding of the help it can provide and a corresponding lack of experience in applying its principles to the challenges we face. The end result is an inability to overcome the power of the devil and a loss of the precious blessings of God.
Let me suggest six brief recommendations for benefiting from regular communion with God in his word:
Confess to God your need for his will.
Pray for God's help in understanding the directions he provides.
Set aside time each day to read and meditate on a portion of Scripture.
Resolve to practice the truths learned.
Give thanks to God for the help his word gives in living life.
Ask God for opportunities to help others see the truth and value of his word and obey its directives.
It's impossible, I think, to overstate the importance and value of familiarity with God's word. Jesus answered Satan's temptation to satisfy his hunger by turning stone to bread with a quotation from the Old Testament: "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4).