New Years Resolution #1: Read the Bible
Read Psalm 119:97-104
“How sweet are your words to my taste! Yes, Sweeter than honey to my mouth!”
As 2020 comes to a close and we inch our way into 2021, we do so with a sense of relief and anticipation. 2020 is a year we will long remember for not only the disruption of Covid-19, but the tsunami of change it brought into our life. As 2020 comes to an end, we can look back and see that it is a year that was vastly different than anyone anticipated. It serves as a continual reminder that life is never scripted. Each new day can bring sudden and life-altering events. With the arrival of a new year, we are hopeful that life can return to a new normal. We can again travel freely without fear or apprehension. We can go to church and enjoy the fellowship of the body of Christ with renewed appreciation. We can go shopping without having to hide behind a mask. While these remain our hopes, there is no guarantee that 2021 will offer any more security and stability than we experienced in 2020. If there is one thing 2020 has taught us, it is that the future is not predictable or controllable. The only thing we can do is adapt and respond to what life throws at us.
In stark contrast to the uncertainty and unpredictability of life is the stability and surety of Scripture. Psalm 119 is the longest hymn in the book of hymns. It is a celebration of the foundation of all truth, the celebration of Scripture. In this anthem of praise, we are reminded that the Scriptures keep us from sin (vs 9,11). They are a counselor to the wise (vs 24). They provide strength and hope in our darkest hours (25,28). The Bible provides direction and guidance as we traverse the world in which we live (vs 105). It provides moral and spiritual protection from those who promote what is evil (vs 114). It brings understanding and clarity in a befuddled world (vs 130). It is no wonder then that the psalmist continually expresses his love and desire to know and digest the Bible.
We live in a morally confused world. Today we see parallels to the book of Judges when “everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25). For the Jews of that day, the results were disastrous as immorality and spiritual confusion wreaked havoc upon their nation and society. This is no less true for us today. When there is no standard for truth, we follow what is false. If we do not believe in anything, we will believe in everything. Misinformation reigns supreme. Christ warns of this when he warns that in the last days “false prophets will arise and will mislead many. Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold” (Mt. 24:11-12). The love he mentions is not the love we have for one another, but the love we have for God. So how do we protect ourselves from this plight? The answer lies in Psalm 119. Our love for God is reinvigorated when we develop a love for his Word.
Deception can only be prevented if we know the truth. This is why it is so important that we be in the scriptures. The greatest threat we face is not the threat of a pandemic or even the threat of a morally declining culture. The greatest threat we face to our wellbeing is biblical ignorance. The foundation for meaning and purpose in life begins with a love, passion, and commitment to know and live according to the Scriptures. Thus, the challenge for 2021. To navigate the unknown of the future, first learn to navigate through the pages of the Bible. Make a commitment to daily read from the Bible.