One of the pillars of modern science is something called the “Second Law of Thermodynamics,” which in its’ essence means without any outside intervention, everything is becoming more disorderly. It is so widely accepted that it no longer is considered a theory, but all areas of science consider this a “law” much like Newton’s Laws, or Kepler’s Laws of Planetary Motion, just to name a few.
While maybe not on the same level as those laws, I propose another concept; There is a strong tendency to make simple things complicated. This includes our understanding of Scripture and how it applies to our life.
Here are 2 simple verses in Psalm 119 that we seem to overlook.
I love Your commandments more than gold, yes even fine gold. Therefore, all Your precepts concerning all things I consider to be right. I hate every false way. – Psalm 119:127-128.
It’s just 2 verses, but it is a lesson on how we need to approach the Bible. There is no need to understand the construction of Hebrew sentences or to dig through commentaries to understand these words.
The Psalmist proclaims he loves the Word. He values it over gold. He declares it to “right” concerning all things and he gets deeply offended when falsehoods are presented to him.
One thing modern evangelicalism has failed mightily in doing is presenting God’s Word this way. We become more interested in wanting people to like us and our churches. We don’t want to chase people (especially those millennials) away from church and we don’t want to be confrontational – at least not right away – because we don’t want to offend people.
I propose that because of all this interest in not offending people, we intentionally begin to refrain from presenting God’s Word as something of high value and correct in everything it says. At first we may still believe what it says, but we don’t talk about it. But over time, even our understanding of scripture becomes less clear. We look to explain the text away, find “cultural differences” or some other reason to claim the Bible doesn’t say what it plainly says. We make the bible complicated and look for loop holes and any little nuance to get around problem passages.
The Psalmist says, “all Your precepts concerning all things I consider to be right…” In other words, since he so highly values God’s word, he looks upon it as being “right.” Meaning the writer made a decision or determination that it is right and true, therefore worthy to be obeyed.
The Hebrew word here for right can be translated as “perfect or smooth or straight.” In modern vernacular when someone is telling us something right, we might say they are a “straight shooter.” That person is correct and to the point. That’s a great way to describe God’s Word. It’s a decision I need to make – that the Bible is right. It does not matter what I think of a passage or if I understand it. It makes no difference if I agree with it – it is “right.”
There is no need to complicate matters.
Understand, I’m a big fan of going deeper into a text and seeing other places words are used, finding meanings to a word or phrase etc in Scripture. I love digging into a passage, and I can spend hours studying one word in scripture. However, I must always maintain this concept; the text is never wrong.
So I must avoid the tendency to overly complicate the simple plain truth of God’s Word. I need to be like the Psalmist who valued it so highly that even fine gold was of no comparison to God’s Word. Further, I need to make the decision to always consider His Word true on everything. Once those basic, simple truths are established, it makes no difference what others say or what the current cultural trend is telling me.
A wise Christian knows the Bible is to be highly valued in your life. It is to be held higher than wealth, personal status or public acceptance. No bank accounts, concept of humans, public opinions or even well-intentioned church growth plans are to ever take the place of His Word in my life.
Simply put, the text is never wrong.