Respect for God’s word

April 25, 2014 

I wrote a while back about some of the unique features of the 119th Psalm. In particular, virtually every verse in the Psalm, and there are 176 verses total, contain some reference to the Word of God. Whether it be God’s law, statutes, ordinances, Word, precepts or testimonies, David had a great love for the message of God.

“Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day. You, through your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies; for they are ever with me.” Psalm 119:97-98.

David has a love of God’s Law and also a respect for it, too. He understood it for what God intended it to be – a source of Divine guidance for His benefit rather than a collection of arbitrary rules to shackle him. Because David recognized that God’s Word was ultimately for his personal benefit and protection, he respected it.

We can learn a lot from David in this regard. The Scriptures, even though they were written thousands of years ago, are timeless. Why? Because no matter how much we think we have progressed as a people over the centuries we are still the same. We have the same passions, the same goals, the same weaknesses, the same potential and the same Maker.

This may be why Moses told the nation of Israel that “you shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.” Deuteronomy 4:2. No adding, changing, or taking away. God’s Word is his Word and they were to respect it. Why? We have that answer, too.

“And the Lord commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as it is this day. Then it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to observe all these commandments before the Lord our God, as He has commanded us.” Deuteronomy 6:24-25.

We can’t love and respect God’s Word if we pick out the parts we like and ignore the parts which are distasteful to us. As parents, how would this approach work if our children tried it on our instructions? What if they agreed to put the dishes away when told but then said, “You can give me whatever curfew you want but I’m going to come home when I want to come home.”

Trust me, I didn’t like the curfew my parents gave me, especially on date nights; however, there were reasons to the rules and these reasons were to protect me from being harmed by others or hurting myself. As an adult, with the passions and foolishness of my youth mostly behind me, I understand their reasons and I agree with them. I see now that when I ignored their instructions I wasn’t honoring their message to me.

Finally, if we don’t respect God’s Word, intentionally or unintentionally, we are telling God that we know better. We are implying that with changing times come changing standards, changing rules, and changing expectations. David didn’t see the Lord’s Law this way and neither should we today. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6.

Jeremy Morris, his wife, and children attend the Church of Christ off of Murray Road. He can be reached at

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