God bless you in the name of Jesus Christ the surety of a better testament (Hebrews 7:22).
Have you ever been amazed or astonished by the Scriptures? I have. There have been innumerable times when I have been amazed by what I read, particularly when its hunger for the truth that prompts me to open its pages. I so long to know the Author and am astonished that He has made Himself known in this sacred text.
We all need encounters with the Word that have an impact. Whether we read it or hear it preached or taught, the most satisfying interaction is that which captures our heart and imagination. Astonishment can cause us to press the Scriptures to our souls. When God’s Word awakens our affections (Colossians 3:2), it is more likely to find a home in our hearts.
It’s beholding the glory of the Lord that transforms us (II Corinthians 3:18). It’s the brilliance and grandeur of what we see that impacts us with a more satisfied soul. If we want to come away from our time in the Bible refreshed and astonished, we must let it capture our affections. Then it can season our lives with flavors that are sweet and satisfying to our souls. Indeed, God invites us to taste and see that the Lord is good.
The Bible is written specifically for us and to us, but it is not mainly about us. It is about God and His son. We go to the Word primarily to find out about them. Although we want to apply the Word we read, and we want to be “doers of the Word and not hearers only.” Our concern should be more about who we will see not what we must do. As our picture of Who our loving heavenly Father and His only begotten son comes into focus, our days fill with delight.
The great design, the “red thread” of the whole Word of God, is Jesus Christ. Apart from him, the Word of God cannot be understood. He came to make known the Father; the Scriptures testify of Christ. The living Word, Jesus Christ, and the written Word, the Scriptures, cannot be separated in the preaching of the Word. If one is going to preach the Word, he will of necessity need to preach Christ.
And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, 3 Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.
When Paul reasoned with them out of the scripture he opened and alleged about Christ.
Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.
Look at Philip’s excitement. He knew he found Jesus because he knew what the scriptures said about him. The scriptures testify of Jesus.
Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
Jesus’ own words make the connection clear. The scriptures testify of Christ.
And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. 45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures.
As Jesus said, the Word contains the things concerning him. The one subject of the whole Word of God is Jesus the Christ, the Son of the living God. He is the master key to unlock the treasure house of God’s Word.
Once I saw the three notes that formed the chord of Psalm 119 (first person pronouns, second person pronouns and the synonyms for the Word of God), I thrilled at the template that it presented for developing one’s relationship with God. I wondered if Jesus followed the template to develop his own personal relationship with his wonderful heavenly Father. He certainly loved the written Word, and Psalm 119 might have provided Jesus with quite an appreciation of it. Most of the 26 times that the phrase “It is written.” occurs in the four gospel accounts it came from the lips of Jesus, the living Word,
There are three exceptions to the standard form of Psalm 119, and God marks each with a figure of speech. We do not find the chord in:
Verses 1-3 Benediction not written in 1st person and not spoken to God.
Verse 115 Apostrophe only verse after the intro not spoken to God.
Verse 122 Type only verse that doesn’t contains one of the 14 Hebrew synonyms for the written word.
These 14 Hebrew synonyms for the written word, according to the Massorah, occur in every verse except 122. In total, they occur 207 times, and form the foundation on which the Psalmist develops his intimacy with God. He takes God at His Word, does what it says, and builds an experiential understanding that draws them together in such sweet communion.