Warren Christian Apologetics Center
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Articles - The Bible

Hallow God's Law

Introduction

Robert Milligan, while President of The College of the Bible in Kentucky University, wrote a book in 1867 titled Reason and Revelation. In the Introduction, Milligan wrote,

It is painful to see the popular indifference that is everywhere manifested for the Word of God. I do not mean to say, with some, that this indifference is increasing; or that it is even as great now as it was a hundred years ago. I am fully persuaded that it is not. Indeed, I feel entirely confident, that the Holy Scriptures had never before so great an influence over the masses of mankind as they have at present. But, nevertheless, their influence is very little in comparison with what it ought to be. Very few persons seem to believe the Bible with their whole hearts. And hence but few tremble at its solemn precepts and warnings. . . . (xi, emp. added)

While discussing the qualifications of the Bible student, Milligan states that the first moral qualification of the Bible student is “a profound reverence for the Bible. . . . [I]n all cases, and under all circumstances, we should approach the Bible as we would approach its Divine Author” (382).

The attitude that Milligan described as “profound reverence for the Bible” may be summed up by the first word appearing in the title of this presentation. It is the word hallow. “Hallow God’s Law.” The word hallow means “to set apart for holy use . . . to respect greatly . . . VENERATE” (Webster 517). Venerate means “regard with reverential respect” (1297). To “hallow” God’s law” reminds one of the Lord’s model prayer in which He said, “In this manner, therefore pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name” (Matthew 6:9). The word hallow (Gk. hagiastheto) means “to ‘hallow’ the name (i.e. the nature of God as known through [H]is self-revelation in history) . . . not only to reverence and honour God, but also to glorify [H]im by obedience to [H]is commands . . .” (Brown 229). It is “to treat as holy, to reverence . . . that the Holy One may secure before the whole world . . . the holiness appropriate to His name, to which human beings will respond with praise and exaltation” (Rogers and Rogers 13).

If we are to hallow His name, then we are to hallow His word. David said, “I will worship toward Your holy temple, and praise Your name . . . for You have magnified Your word above all Your name” (Psalm 138:2). In his book, Thou Art My Portion—The Life of Victory in Psalm 119,written in 1956, Logsdon described well the attitude of the writer of Psalm 119:

In Psalm 119, an unidentified individual is lured Godward by revealed knowledge and presented illustration. He begins to seek for something richer, deeper, fuller. His disappointments and defeats so long seem to outweigh the gains of his conquest, but his persistence is at last wonderfully rewarded. The narrative becomes increasingly impressive and informative as it progressively unfolds. . . .

Two conclusions are apparent. First, the way of heavenly approval is not for a previous age or generation only. It is for us as well. Second, the diligent observance of God’s precepts is the means into such a hallowed way and the source of support therein. His Word guides and sustains. To have this fact registered in the heart as a distinct command of the infinite God for the individual constitutes a very serious personal responsibility. (7, 13-14).

Text of Psalm 119:145-52

One of the texts from Psalm 119 from which we observe the Psalmist’s deep respect for God’s law (the Holy Scriptures) is the nineteenth stanza (verses 145-52). It reads as follows:

I cry out with my whole heart: Hear me, O Lord! I will keep Your statutes. I cry out to You; Save me, and I will keep Your testimonies. I rise before the dawning of the morning. And cry for help; I hope in Your word. My eyes are awake through the night watches, that I may meditate on Your word. Hear my voice according to Your lovingkindness; O Lord, revive me according to Your justice. They draw near who follow after wickedness; They are far from Your law. You are near, O Lord, and all Your commandments are truth. Concerning Your testimonies, I have known of old that You have founded them forever. (Psalm 119:145-52)

This text implies seven (perfect, complete) reasons why it is the case that humans should hallow the Bible. Any one of these truths, properly explicated, is sufficient to prove the case, but the list of seven together makes the case even more obvious. We should hallow the Bible which is God’s law. When I affirm that the Bible should be hallowed, I mean the information contained in it should be handled correctly, studied consummately, believed confidently, appreciated completely, applied compliantly, and praised continually. There is no book like the Bible. It should be hallowed for more reasons than any one of us knows. However, some of the reasons include the following.

The Book Can Heal A Broken Heart

Three times in the text (verses 145-47) we hear the Psalmist “cry out” to God. This is prayer. David said, “Give heed to the voice of my cry, my King and my God, for to You I will pray” (Psalm 5:2). He said, “I will pray and cry aloud” (Psalm 55:17). “Hear my cry, O God; Attend to my prayer. From the end of the earth I will cry to You. When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I” (Psalm 61:1-2). The unidentified writer of Psalm 119 cried out with four petitions: (1) Hear me (v. 145), (2) Save me (v. 146), (3) Help me (v. 147), and (4) Revive me (v. 149). Do you ever cry out to God with those petitions?

The Bible teaches us how to pray (cf. Matthew 6:1-18; Luke 11:1), and the greatest way it teaches this is through the example of Him “who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear” (Hebrews 5:7, emp. added). God has answered the cry of a brokenhearted humanity with revelation that encourages us to the end that we “always ought to pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1), and revelation that ultimately, through the person and work of Jesus Christ, binds up our broken hearts.

So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up . . . went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted. . . .” (Luke 4:16-18)

Neale Pryor relates the story of an atheist who was lecturing in a village in England. He was giving reasons for not believing in God and the Bible. At the conclusion he asked if there were any questions. One elderly woman said she had one. She said, “My husband died 10 years ago and left me with 10 children. It was my faith in the Bible that saw me through those years of hardship, poverty and illness. My faith enabled me to rear my children and make it through hard times. My question is this: What has your faith done for you?” The lecturer had nothing to say and the assembly ended in confusion (22).

The Book Can Save A Lost Soul

He cried out, “Save me, and I will keep Your testimonies” (v. 146). This is not some shallow bargain he is making with God. These are the words of one who already has made a whole-hearted commitment to God and His word. (cf. vv. 2, 7, 10, 30, 58, 97, 113, et al.). He desires salvation (deliverance) that he might be placed in a position by Providence where he can carry out the commitment he has made to “keep Your testimonies.” This likely parallels the thought of the following: “Redeem me from the oppression of man, that I may keep Your precepts” (v. 134; cf. Luke 1:74). 

Every accountable human has sinned (Romans 3:23), and the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). Becker says, “The point of the verse [i.e. Romans 6:23] is to state that sin pays out wages. . . . Sin promises life and gives death; but this death does not just begin at the end of our temporal life, it is the current payment which we already receive” (145). Sin separates man from God (Isaiah 59:1-2). Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, wrote, “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners . .  .” (1 Timothy 1:15). The angel, who announced the birth of Jesus to Judean shepherds who were watching their flock, said to the shepherds: “I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11, emp. added). “Good tidings” is Gospel. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is good news because it provides the exclusive way for one to be saved from his sins. He was named Jesus (meaning savior), because “He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). The Gospel (good news) of Christ is “the power of God to salvation” (Romans 1:16). The Gospel is based on three fundamental historical facts: (1) Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, (2) Christ was buried, and (3) Christ rose again the third day according to the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).

There is no greater discovery in life than to find the Christ (i.e. learn who the true Christ is, i.e. Jesus of Nazareth) (John 1:41, 45), and then learn what one must do to be saved by Him.Salvation is life’s greatest discovery. When one understands what salvation is—what it means to be saved by Jesus Christ—then he can truly realize the greatness of it. The Bible is the one authoritative Book that presents the truth concerning how, and when, God saves an individual. In this sense, it is the Book that can save all lost souls who obediently believe (Romans 1:16-17; 2 Tim. 3:14-17) God, through Jesus Christ, is the source, savior, and sustainer of all physical life (cf. John 1:1-4; Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 1:1-3). God, through Jesus Christ, is the source, savior, and sustainer of all spiritual life (cf. Ephesians 2:1-10; Colossians 1:9-23; 3:1-4, et al.).  

The Book Can Brighten the Darkest Night

The writer of Psalm 119 says, “I rise before the dawning of the morning, and cry for help. . . . My eyes are awake through the night watches, that I may meditate on Your word” (vv. 147-48). “Either he woke up to pray at midnight, or . . . he anticipated the dawn, and began his morning prayer while it was still dark” (Rawlinson 111). Even if the night is long and the darkness is intense, the word of God “gives songs in the night” (Job 35:10). Two gospel preachers “were praying and singing hymns to God” while incarcerated at midnight, but because of genuine faith in God (cf. 2 Tim. 1:5) produced by the word of God (cf. Rom. 10:17) that is revealed in the Book of God (cf. 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21), they had great consolation.

Sometimes the days and nights may be long and restless as they were for Job (7:1-5). He said, “My bed will comfort me. My couch will ease my complaint” (Job 7:13), but instead he was terrified with nightmares (Job 7:14). How blessed we are today to have the Book of Books that can brighten the dark nights of life when nothing else can or will. “The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me—a prayer to the God of my life” (Psalm 42:8).

A word also needs said about the inestimable value of rising up early before dawn to hallow God’s law. Wilbur Smith wrote:

 . . . The impressions of the morning are the deepest. Beginning the day with the Word of God, we begin on a high level. We begin with strength for the day’s work, and power against the day’s temptations. Something we receive early in the morning, alone with God, we can use in passing on to others for their enrichment sometime during the hours of the day that ensue. If we do have our Bible study in the morning, then no matter what happens during the day, what unexpected engagements arise, nothing will then be able to shut out this sacred time which we so deeply need. John Ruskin said to the students of Oxford University, in urging them to read the Bible: “Make it the first daily business to understand some part of it clearly, and then the rest of the day to obey it in what you do understand.” “My voice shalt Thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto Thee, and will look up” (Psalm 5:3; see also, Exodus 34:2). (59)

The words of the late Roy Deaver are worthy of careful consideration: “Like the Psalmist, we should be anxious to get up early and stay up late in order to learn more of God’s word” (164). Cf. Mark 1:35; Luke 6:12. Wise is the counsel given in the following: “. . . [F]ocus on what you pull close to your heart at night, what comforts you when you’re sick or hurt. Everything else is just etc.” (Collins 360). For the Psalmist, the focus was the hallowed words of God’s Book that can brighten the dark nights of life. That is what the Psalmist pulled close to his heart at night. Do you?

The Book Can Anchor A Hopeless Vessel

Miller entitles this text (vv. 145-52) “The way of hope” (Ash and Miller 393). As the writer voices his “cry for help” he acknowledged, “I hope in Your word” (v. 147). Hope is one of the great keynotes of this inexhaustible chapter (cf. vv. 43, 49, 75, 81, 114, 147, 166). Because his hope meant so much, he did not want to be ashamed of it (v. 116). Unashamed of his hope, he was unashamed of God’s word for therein is his hope. I hope in Your word! On one of the episodes of the popular TV family show, THE WALTON’S, Grandpa says, “We tend to forget as we ramble on that one of the sweetest words in life is hope.” A popular movie has the popular line, “Hope is a good thing—maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies.” However, the Bible always says it best, and so it is with hope revealed in the Sacred Scriptures:

 . . . [T]hat by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek. (Hebrews 6:18-20)

The promise that gives hope is the word of God (Hebrews 6:13-14). The person who gives hope is Jesus the Christ (Heb. 6:20). The place that grounds hope is heaven where Jesus is (Hebrews 6:19-20). The Bible is the most hopeful Book ever written. It is ultimately the only Book that can take the pain out of parting, the gloom out of the grave, and provide hope that is sure and steadfast; And it is the only Book that ultimately reveals the only person who has “plucked the rose of immortality from the realm of the dead and planted it to blossom and bloom on the bosom of His own grave, thus giving hope and joy to mankind” (Hardeman 40).

Marshal Foch, the commander of the Allied Forces in World War I, has been noted for his memorable statement, “My center is giving way, my right is pushed back, my left is wavering. The situation is excellent. I shall attack!” (qtd. in Keller 31). However, greater still was the Commander’s statement to the New York Bible Society: “The Bible is certainly the best comforter that you can give to an American soldier about to go into battle to sustain his magnificent ideal and his faith” (qtd. in Fant 63). It can anchor the human vessel on the sea of life with hope that is grounded and settled.

The Book Can Revive A Depressed Spirit

The Psalmist cries, “Hear my voice according to Your lovingkindness . . . revive me . . .” (v. 149). Here is a cry to be aroused, stirred, and provoked to greater spiritual life. The word of God has awesome power to revive a depressed spirit, and arouse it to greater fervency. The following verse in Psalm 119 has a similar plea—“Revive me according to Your judgments” (v. 156). The acknowledgment of the writer that his spirit needed revived, and that the word of God inherently possessed the power to do such is reiterated throughout this great chapter (vv. 25, 37, 50, 88, 156, et al.).

Observe carefully:  Here was one who possessed great faith in God’s law. Oh, how he loved it! On it, he meditated day and night. He took it in his heart, treasured it, transferred it to his daily life, and taught it. Yet, here he is crying out to be revived. We can get “down in the dumps” even as people of faith. Our spirits need lifted up out of the depressed, despondent, and discouraged state in which we may find ourselves from time to time (cf. 2 Corinthians 7:5-6). The Bible has the power to revive our depressed spirits and encourage our discouraged souls. The Psalmist had experienced this power of the Scriptures in his life. Have you? And if he, with an incomplete revelation (only Old Testament) could be revived, how much more should you and I experience this, in possession of the remarkably all-sufficient revelation in the complete Bible! And how much more with the completed revelation of God in the person and work of Jesus Christ (cf. Hebrews 1:1-2; 2:1-4)!

When the low mood comes, open your New Testament. Read it imaginatively: stand on the shore at Capernaum; visit the home at Bethany; sit by Jacob’s well, and in the upper room; look into the eyes of Jesus; listen to His voice; take a walk around by Calvary; remember the crown of thorns; then tell yourself (for it is true) “All this was for me! The Son of God loved me, and gave Himself for me.” And see if a passion of praise does not send the low mood flying. (Cowman 209)

The Book Can Restore A Wayward Life

There were those who were ready to do him wrong and such were far from God’s law (v. 150). However, in contrast, he says, “You are near, O Lord, and all Your commandments are truth” (v. 151). When we are not as near to God as we once were it is because we have strayed from His revelation. When we are wayward we are not living up to the revelation we possess (cf. Romans 1:18ff; Psalm 119:10, 21, 118). “All we like sheep have gone astrayWe have turned, every one to his own way” (Isaiah 53:6, emp added). Another writer of the Psalms declared, “. . .[T]hose who are far from You shall perish; You have destroyed all those who desert You for harlotry. But it is good for me to draw near to God . . .” (Psalm 73:27-28).

One of the crucial implications of verses 150-51 is that a right relationship with God is essentially connected to a right relationship with His written revelation. Those who follow after wickedness are those who are far from God’s law (v. 150). The nearness of God is related to the truth of His commandments (v. 151). Jeremiah declared, “O Lord, I know the way of man [i.e. the right way] is not in himself: It is not in man who walks to direct [i.e. in the right way] his own steps” (Jeremiah 10:23). “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12, emp. added; cf. 16:25). One cannot draw near to God apart from a concern for the proper response to His revelation. It has always been the case that one’s nearness to God (i.e. walking with God) involves walking by faith (cf. Hebrews 11:1-40), and faith can only come by divine revelation (i.e. testimony). “So then faith comes by hearing . . . the word of God” (Romans 10:17). It is living faith working through love (Galatians 5:6; cf. James 2:22, 24, 26) that separates those who are near to God, and those who are not. A powerful contrast pictured in verses 150-51 is between those who long to come into the closest possible relationship with God and those who keep at a distance from Him. The basic difference between the two groups is personal faith and the weakness, or lack, thereof. We came into a relationship of nearness to God through sound thought given to the obvious facts of the realities of our own existence that “He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:27-28). However, it is ultimately through the written revelation (His testimonies) He has provided that faith is founded, fed, and fixed forever so that we “draw near [literally, “keep on drawing near”] with a true heart in full assurance of faith” (Hebrews 10:22). “Back to God” always entails “Back to the Bible” for the individual, the home, the nation, and the church. The Book restores the wayward life (cf. Psalm 119:59).

The Book Secure in Its Eternal Existence

This nineteenth stanza concludes with the Psalmist affirming the everlasting nature of the law of God. He says, “Concerning Your testimonies, I have known of old that You have founded them forever” (v. 152). In the section immediately preceding, he wrote, “the righteousness of Your testimonies is everlasting . . .” (v. 144). Alexander renders verse 152 with the following: “Long have I known from thy testimonies (themselves) that thou unto eternity hast founded them” (503). The Bible has a self-evidencing nature to the effect that it consists not of merely “passing or temporary enactments, but eternal laws” (Rawlinson 112). Here is the “everlasting stability of God’s testimonies” (Dickson 400). Biblical revelation makes this claim of its eternal, everlasting nature:

. . . [T]he word of God . . . lives and abides forever, because all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, but the word of the Lord endures forever. (2 Peter 1:23-25; cf. Isaiah 40:6-8).

Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away” (Matthew 24:35). It is the case that the Bible records these statements concerning the eternality of its message, and those who truly know the Bible recognize the self-evidencing nature of this claim. However, the indestructibility of the Bible, as evidenced from history, sustains the biblical claim, and the experience of those who, as the Psalmist, can say, “I have known of old that You have founded them [Your testimonies] forever” (Psalm 119:152).

Consider the following argument concerning its indestructibility as proof of the divine origin of the Bible:

1.         If the Bible’s continued survival could not be achieved by unaided human effort, then the Bible’s origin must be the result of a supernatural source (i.e. God).

2.         The Bible’s continued survival could not be achieved by unaided human effort.

3.         Therefore, the Bible’s origin must be the result of a supernatural source (i.e. God).

As evidence of the remarkable continued survival of the Bible, I cite data from a mid-twentieth century (1959) classic book on apologetics and an early twenty-first century (2001) book authored by a world renowned manuscript scholar. From the former, consider the following evidence of the unique survival of the biblical revelation, which testifies to its everlasting foundation:

. . . Any ancient book had to run the gamut of the forces of decay and neglect. . . . [I]n antiquity books were produced entirely by hand and so were greatly restricted in number and distribution. Through fire, sword, decay, neglect, insects, mold, storms, and all other sorts of improvidence, the toll taken on ancient manuscripts was great.

In view of all this the survival of the Bible from antiquity with such a remarkable attestation is amazing. In reference to the Old Testament we know that the Jews preserved it as no other manuscript has ever been preserved. . . . [T]hey kept tabs on every letter, syllable, word, and paragraph. They had special classes of men within their culture whose sole duty was to preserve and transmit these documents with practically perfect fidelity. . . . Who ever counted the letters and syllables and words of Plato or Aristotle? Cicero or Seneca?

In regard to the New Testament there are about thirteen thousand manuscripts, complete and incomplete, in Greek and other languages, that have survived from antiquity. No other work from classical antiquity has such attestation. . . .

. . . The Bible has survived the ravages of time in all its manifold means of destruction with a numerical and textual attestation that is many furlongs beyond even the closest competitor.

. . . No other book has been so persecuted; no other book has been so victorious over its persecutions. It is the martyr among books, and always rises from the pool of its own blood to live on.

. . . The attacks have been publicized abroad in a never-ending stream of periodicals, journals, pamphlets, monographs, books, and encyclopaedias. The larger universities of the world and hundreds of theological seminaries have taken up the cause of radical criticism. A thousand times over, the death knell of the Bible has been sounded, the funeral procession formed, the inscription cut on the tombstone, and the committal read. But somehow the corpse never stays put.

No other book has been so chopped, knived, sifted, scrutinized, and vilified. What book on philosophy or religion or psychology . . . has been subject to such a mass attack as the Bible? with such venom and skepticism? with such thoroughness and erudition? upon every chapter, line, and tenet?

Considering the thorough learning of the critics and the ferocity and precision of the attacks, we would expect the Bible to have been permanently entombed in some Christian genizah. But such is hardly the case. The Bible is still loved by millions, read by millions, and studied by millions. No doubt a terrible amount of damage has been done by radical criticism, and millions have lost faith in the veracity and authority of the Bible, as tragically witnessed by the decay of church attendance, the spiritual enervation of our western culture, and the cancerous secularism of America, England, and continental Europe. But even so, radical criticism has not put the Bible out of circulation. It still remains the most published and most read book in the world of literature. Its survival through time, persecution, and criticism is remarkable. (Ramm 230-233)

 

Christopher de Hamel, whose book History of Illuminated Manuscripts (1994) is a standard work in its field, is a scrupulous scholar. He also authored what has been described as an “utterly gripping account of the world’s most remarkable book [the Bible]” (jacket). The Book: A History of the Bible is an original and authoritative account of the survival of the Bible during its “extraordinary journey through history” (jacket). Writing as an historian who is an expert in ancient manuscripts, De Hamel in this scholarly, readable, unique books says,

THE HISTORY OF THE BIBLE is perhaps the biggest subject in the world. . . . It is generally and credibly asserted that more copies of the Bible have been published since then than any other text, and that even now it continues to be the best-selling text across the globe. It is more widely disseminated than any other written text, and there is probably hardly a person in the world now without achievable access to a copy, usually even in their own language. That cannot be said of any other written text. . . .

The present History of the Bible is not a theological book. It acknowledges, for it must, that many people who have used the Bible throughout its long history have regarded its text as having been divinely inspired, and that this very unusual status has been one reason why the Bible has been so widely promoted and read. It would be a mistake to underestimate this. At the same time, others have considered use of the Bible to be dangerous and even subversive. The history of the Bible also includes accounts of burning and deliberate destruction. . . .

. . . The Bible exists simultaneously in many languages (in this it differs from many holy texts of other religions) but its actual text has hardly changed at all in thousands of years, except for the occasional disputed phrase here or there, or a delicate realignment of emphasis. This will reassure those who believe and use the Bible now. . . .

. . . [A]ll evidence confirms that the text of the Christian Bible as we have it today has been maintained and transmitted with extraordinary accuracy. . . . No significant variations or deliberate falsifications have ever been found to shake public confidence in the Bible as a whole. No other text of comparable antiquity has come down to us with so few uncertainties about is transmission. . . .

. . . Both the Old and the New Testaments . . . have been preserved and disseminated . . . more or less exactly, more widely than any other texts ever written. . . . The beginnings of the Bible are set in an increasingly secure context. . . .” (vi, viii, 319-20, 329, emp. added)

Truly the Bible is The Book uniquely secure with a message that has an eternal existence. Two thousand years of history evidence the unique indestructibility of the Bible. We believe the objective mind concludes that the Bible’s continued survival, in light of all to which it has been subjected from the negative side, evidences it is the result of a supernatural source (i.e. God).   “Concerning Your testimonies I have known of old that You have founded them forever” (Psalm 119:152).

For over 40 years, I have read portions of the following piece by A. Z. (Arcturus Zodiac) Conrad (1855-1937). Quotes have appeared in many print publications, usually abridged, and sometimes quoted with error. It was not until early 2011, when I purchased his work Secret to the Life Sublime was I able to read it in its original form and entirety. A.Z. Conrad served as a preacher in Boston for several decades. His description of the indestructibility of the Bible is as fine a statement as I have read on this characteristic of the Bible.

The Bible-There It Stands

 Century follows century—There it stands.
Empires rise and fall and are forgotten—There it stands.
Dynasty succeeds dynasty—There it stands.
Kings are crowned and uncrowned—There it stands.
Emperors decree its extermination—There it stands.
Despised and torn to pieces—There it stands.
Storms of hate swirl about it—There it stands.
Atheists rail against it—There it stands.
Agnostics smile cynically—There it stands.
Profane prayerless punsters caricature it—There it stands.
Unbelief abandons it—There it stands.
Higher critics deny its claim to inspiration—There it stands.
Thunderbolts of wrath smite it—There it stands.
An anvil that has broken a million hammers—There it stands.
The flames are kindled about it—There it stands.
The arrows of hate are discharged against it—There it stands.
Radicalism rants and raves about it—There it stands.
Fogs of sophistry conceal it temporarily—There it stands.
The tooth of time gnaws but makes no dent in it—There it stands.
Infidels predict its abandonment—There it stands.
Modernism tries to explain it away—There it stands.
Laughed at by sycophants and scorned by scoffers—There it stands.
Free thinkers deride it—There it stands.
Devotees of folly denounce it—There it stands.
When childhood needs a standard of truth—There it stands.
Youth calls for a beacon light—There it stands.
Sorrow cries for consolation—There it stands.
Weakness searches for the sources of power—There it stands.
Old age calls for an upholding staff—There it stands.
The weary seek refuge and rest—There it stands.
The hungry soul calls for bread—There it stands.
The thirsty pilgrim yearns for refreshing water—There it stands
Do the overwhelmed cry for relief?—There it stands.
Do the lost seek salvation?—There it stands. (194-96)

Conclusion

There is no book like the Bible! It is:

 v    The Book that can heal a broken heart.

v    The Book that can save a lost soul.

v    The Book that can brighten the darkest night.

v    The Book that can anchor a hopeless vessel.

v    The Book that can revive a depressed spirit.

v    The Book that can restore a wayward life.

v    The Book secure in its eternal existence.

Hold it respectfully. Hear it receptively. Heed it obediently. Hallow it reverently. Hope in it confidently!

 

Works Cited

Alexander, Joseph Addison. The Psalms Translated and Explained. 1873. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1975.

Ash, Anthony L., and Clyde M. Miller. Psalms. The Living Word Commentary on the Old Testament. Austin: Sweet, 1980.

Becker, O. The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology. Ed. Colin Brown. Vol. 3. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1978. 3 vols.

Brown, Colin, ed. The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology. Vol. 2. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1978.

Collins, Mark. “Monday December 31.” Daily Guideposts 2007. New York: GuidepostsBooks, 2006.

Conrad, A. Z. Secret of the Life Sublime. New York: Revell, 1929.

Cowman, Mrs. Charles E. Springs in the Valley. 1939. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1976.

Deaver, Roy.  “An Expositional, Analytical, Homiletical, Devotional Commentary on the Book of Psalms.” Vol. 2. Pensacola: Firm Foundation, 1989.

De Hamel, Christopher. The Book. A History of the Bible. New York: Phaidon, 2001.

Dickson, David. A Commentary on the Psalms. London: Banner of Truth Trust, 1959.

Fant, David J. The Bible in New York. New York: New York Bible Society, 1948.

Hardeman, N. B. One Dozen Sermons. N.p.: Hardeman, 1956.

Keller, James. Three Minutes a Day. Garden City: Doubleday, 1949.

Logsdon, S. Franklin. Thou Art My Portion—The Life of Victory in Psalm 119. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1956.

Milligan, Robert. Reason and Revelation. Cincinnati: Carroll, 1868.

Pryor, Neale. You Can Trust Your Bible. Abilene: Quality, 1980.

Ramm, Bernard. Protestant Christian Evidences. 1953. Chicago: Moody, 1959.

Rawlinson, G. “The Book of Psalms: Exposition.” Vol. 3. Pulpit Commentary. Vol. 8. 1950. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1962.

Rogers, Cleon L. Jr., and Cleon L. Rogers III. The New Linguistic and ExegeticalKey to the Greek New Testament. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1998.

Smith, Wilbur M. Profitable Bible Study. 1963. 2nd rev. ed. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1973.

Webster’s New Intercollegiate Dictionary.