An often-repeated remark is that a million-dollar idea is worth nothing until someone implements it. Similarly, someone has observed that the person who does not read has no advantage over the person who cannot read. The believer has a million-dollar idea, so to speak, in that he has at his disposal a preserved revelation from heaven. The apostle speaks of this invaluable gift in these terms: “What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles [“utterances”] of God” (Rom. 3:1, 2).
In the ninth chapter of the same book, Paul elaborates on the “much every way” advantages of being an Israelite: “to whom pertain the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came” (vv. 4, 5). That is quite a catalogue of privileges. Absent revelation, we might be tempted to consider any number of these advantages to be the superior one. But Paul assures us that receiving the “oracles of God,” the written Word of God, if you will, is, hands down, the greatest privilege of all.
The question before us, then, is this: do we perceive the privilege that has been given us, and are we taking full advantage of the rich blessings this opportunity affords? Countless investment gurus advise people on how to make, increase, and maintain wealth, and they make a comfortable living doing so because people flock to them for their counsel. A believer has at his disposal a gold mine of counsel. And unlike economic advisors, the counsel the Word of God offers is absolutely accurate and always profitable beyond our imagining.
And yet, how many of us might as well be illiterate for all the time we give to digging in God’s gold mine for the wealth it affords? Solomon offers this counsel: “My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God” (Pro. 2:1-5). Then follows in that passage a rich and lengthy description of the compound blessings that such people receive from the Lord. (Are you concerned enough to read that passage?)
It is no accident that many of us are impoverished spiritually, that we lack peace and joy, that our service is meager, or that our lives are empty and powerless when we neglect the gift that God has bestowed on us in the giving of His holy, living Word. It is no wonder that we lack deliverance from sin, the ability to resist temptation, a life that provokes sinners and draws them to Christ and encourages saints with the blessedness of salvation when our Bibles lie closed between services, or when reading and study is a duty to be endured, a task to be accomplished as quickly as possible. Contrariwise, Job declared: “I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food” (23:12). If the choice came down to eating dinner or ingesting God’s Word, Job chose God’s Word. Sadly, many of us find our bellies growing but our souls wasting away. It need not be so, and it certainly ought not be so. Jeremiah had a heart like Job’s; he testified: “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and the word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts” (Jer. 15:16). Do you want to be a blessed saint? Place the Bible before your eyes and in your heart.
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