God's Word Is Precious
“Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: quicken me in thy righteousness. Let thy mercies come also unto me, O LORD, even thy salvation, according to thy word.... Thou art my portion, O LORD: I have said that I would keep thy words.” (Psalm 119:40-41, 57)
"If they would burn the Word of Christ, they would burn Christ."
~ William Tyndale (1494–1536), language scholar and theologian
who was burned at the stake for translating the Bible
and for believing in justification by faith alone
Throughout history, there have been many people who fought the spread of God's Word. There were people who thought it was wrong for the Word of God to be translated into a "common" language, or any other language but the original languages it was written in. Some religious leaders did not want the Bible to be readable, because their false teachings would be found out if people could check them by the Bible in their own languages.
Many years ago, a man named William Tyndale was overcome with a passion to see the Hebrew and Greek original Scriptures translated into English. His dream was that any common ploughboy (any farmer's servant) would be able to read the Bible in his own language (English) instead of having to know Hebrew or Greek, or instead of having to listen to the Bible read in Latin. Tyndale was a skilled translator and wonderful writer, so his translations (some pieces of the New Testament that he translated) are quoted today even more than famous lines from Shakespeare's plays are quoted!
But back in his time, William Tyndale was not so popular. He was betrayed, went to prison, and eventually was strangled and burned at the stake – all because he wanted to give the Bible to English-speaking people. Tyndale loved God's Word so much that he died for it. He died so God's Word could be read. He died so God's Word could be printed and preserved (kept safe and available) for generations to come. God used people like William Tyndale throughout history to preserve His Word, to keep it safe. That is why God's Word is still here for us to use in our time.
King David's psalms about God's Word show that he also had a deep love for the Scriptures. He says he has longed after God's Word. He says that the LORD is his portion (the LORD is all he needs), and because of that, he promises to keep (obey) the LORD's words.
David was "a man after God's own heart." He loved God, so he loved God's Word. William Tyndale's whole life (and death) was devoted to making sure God's Word would be around in the future, readable by both rich and poor people. He was passionate about God's Word, because He was passionate about God. God's Word ought to be considered precious (extremely valuable) because it is from God. Many people have lost their lives trying to make sure God's Word would stay safe. If you have a Bible today, check out your relationship to God's Word. How often do you read it? How do you respond to it? Does your life show that you love the Word of Christ?
God's Word is precious, because it is from Him.
» How often do I think about God's Word?
» Why is God's Word so valuable?
» Do I really treat God's Word as something precious, or do I ignore it?
Truth In Real Life
Betsie ten Boom
“We must tell people how good God is. We can tell them how wonderful God is, and how His love will fill our lives, if only we will give up our hatred and bitterness.”
When people hear the last name of “ten Boom” they often think of Corrie ten Boom. When the Nazis invaded Holland during World War II, Corrie ten Boom and her family helped their Jewish friends by hiding them in their home. A name less well-known, and much less honored, is that of Corrie’s sister, Betsie.
The ten Booms were known for honoring God by loving their neighbors as themselves. It was this love for people that ended up costing them their freedom, their health, and – in the case of Betsie and several other relatives – even their lives.
On February 28, 1944, after the betraying words of a fellow Dutchman, the Nazi secret police invaded the ten Boom home and took the entire household prisoner. The ten Booms and the people they were hiding at the time were split up and sent to terrible concentration camps where they were starved and treated with humiliating cruelty every day. Already old and somewhat fragile, Mr. ten Boom died after spending just over a week in prison. Corrie and Betsie spent the next ten months in three different prison camps.
Every single day they were together, Betsie encouraged Corrie in the Lord.
Corrie ten Boom – one of the few survivors from her family – often said that it was because of her older sister, Betsie, that she was able to have the strength to share God’s love. Betsie would talk often about the prison guards or the men who beat them. But instead of cursing them, Betsie would say things like, “I feel sorry for them,” or, “May God forgive them.” And she meant it. Betsie loved her enemies.
Betsie ten Boom died only a few days before she would have been released. Her sister Corrie’s name might not have been so familiar to us today if Betsie had not been her spiritual helper and best friend. What kind of brother or sister are you? What kind of spiritual help are you to your friends? Do you share God’s love?
Proverbs 27:17 – As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.