Pastor Bob Hammond
Recently, our church has spent several months studying through the longest chapter of Scripture -- Psalm 119. This great passage teaches about the nature of Gods words and their correct place in our lives.
Importantly, the Psalms help us to understand two great truths regarding the Bible: (1) It truly is the word of God and (2) God has preserved his words so that we may obey them today. These ideas are brought together in a single verse of Psalm 119:
“Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever.” (Psalm 119:152)
Here, the psalmist is fondly recalling that he has long-known that God has both inspired the Bible and preserved it “for ever.” In his simple statement “thou has founded them,” the Psalmist credits God for supplying the words of Scripture. And, Indeed, the New Testament also credits the LORD with providing all the words of the Bible:
“For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Pet 1:21)
But what good would it be if the LORD had supernaturally provided the Bible without also supernaturally preserving his words for all generations? Fortunately, we may also observe in Psalm 119:152 that God has founded his words “for ever.” The LORD reiterates this promise in another Psalm:
“The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” (Psalm 12:6-7)
It is because the LORD promises to keep (preserve) the words of the Bible, that the psalmist is able to proclaim “I shall keep thy testimonies” (Ps. 119:146). And for the same reason, today, we too may know and obey all of God's words. Praise God!
Sadly, the idea that God promises to preserve his words is lacking from the teaching of many otherwise sound churches. Consequently, instead of accepting the traditional "Received" Greek and Hebrew texts that underly our King James Bible, they have allowed scholars to define which words are likely part of the original Bible text. And those same scholars have encouraged the production of modern Bible translations that lack many of the words that God's people have traditionally received as Scripture -- including entire verses of Scripture! (e.g. 1 John 5:7-8). At Long Hill Baptist Church, we desire to hold firmly to all of God’s words. That's why we hold to the King James Bible as God's preserved words for English-speaking people.
Praise God that He keeps his words so that we may keep his words!