In John 18:37b, Jesus responds to a question from Pilate by saying “….everyone who is of the truth hears my voice.” Pilate then says, “What is truth?” Jesus doesn’t answer him and I wonder if Pilate’s question was more of a rhetorical nature and he wasn’t expecting any sort of answer from Jesus. But it is a good question.
What is truth?
In Psalm 119, we are told many things about the Scriptures. One of those recurring themes is the Bible is something we can trust. This three verses in Psalm 119 cover three descriptions of God’s Word which enlighten us on why we can trust His the Bible.
God’s Word is the Standard
For centuries, a yard stick has been the same length. The history of establishing a standard measuring length goes back to the 1100’s. Having an established standard of measurement has allowed people the world over to transact commerce and exchange information. It eliminates confusion when a standard of measurement has been agreed upon. But is there a standard to measure truth?
In the New Kings James Version, we are told in verse 89, “Forever O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven.”
The psalmist makes a point to tell us God’s Word has been “settled” or determined, established. It is the measuring stick we hold everything up to so we may determine what is true. If I know God’s Word is true, I can determine if other ideas are true by measuring them against the Word.
Confusion reigns when everyone uses a different standard. “What you define as truth may not be true to me” is no way to find a moral foundation. From Psalm 119, we see God’s Word is the standard.
God’s Word is Right
In verse 128, states, “Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way.”
Not only is His Word the standard but now we are told it is true – in all things. Notice how the psalmist makes the decision to regard the Word as being true. He says “I esteem…” which is a fancy way of saying I have “determined.” This is important because I can’t know everything and I can’t trust everything.
“Truth” as printed in text books changes over time. Societal norms vary where what once was considered immoral can be widely accepted. While important, we can’t just trust our feelings and emotions because those change and are subject to a variety of factors. How can one decide if what you are reading is really true?
According to Psalm 119:128, we can use His Word because His Word is right.
God’s Word is Forever
Deep into Psalm 119, we find this gem of a description of His Word in verse 152, “Concerning Your testimonies, I have known of old that You have founded them forever.”
Our source of guidance is His Word. Why, because according to verse 152 of Psalm 119, He is the founder.
Forever is a long time. Technically, that isn’t a correct statement because “forever” is beyond time. God’s Word is something so solid, so real, so authentic, that it will last beyond our understanding, logic or reasoning. It is forever – because He is the founder.
We can gain great confidence that His Word will not change over time. It is as solid now as it was 2,000 years ago. We can make moral decisions based off His Word and know those will stand the test of time, no matter what else changes around us.
So, from these three verses, Psalm 119 teaches us:
- God’s Word is the standard to which all other ideas are measured. – vs 89
- God’s Word is right and the final source of all that is true. – vs 128
- God’s Word will outlast everything because it is forever. – vs 152
Spend some time in His Word and be confident in it. You can trust it.