Yesterday I received a valuable book in the mail. It is really only a mere booklet. It is a 40 page book review of Dr. William Sargent’s Battle for the Mind. The review is entitled Conversions: Psychological and Spiritual – and this review was written by Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. It is a rare treasure! And although the book is, to be perfectly frank, ugly (it is a pale ketchup color with yellowed pages and absolutely no cover design), I was willing to pay $40.00 to obtain it for my research and my own library when all my papers are written.
Do you have any books like that? Books that might appear to be of little value that you would nonetheless make a significant sacrifice to own? Do you own any books that you would value at a whopping one dollar per page?
On the basis of Psalm 138:2, I am confident in saying that you do in fact own such a book. The last part of that verse reads: “I will praise you, O LORD… for you have exalted above all things your name and your word.”
This month I want to offer you a reminder of how valuable God’s word is to you. If you were to create an absolute hierarchy of all things ; if you were to rank in value from greatest to least every single thing that exists, God’s name (who is is) and God’s word (what he has said) stand at the very top. God’s word, therefore, is second in exaltation only to the person of God himself in his triune majesty.
God’s word is exalted above angels and saints, above galaxies and constellations, above all plants and animals, above all thought and feeling, above… everything. Do you read it and value what it says as if this were true? How ridiculously, culpably foolish the horoscopes would seem to us if we rightly regarded the value of God’s word. How industrious and careful we would be in our reading of it did we consider its worth as God himself has assessed it.
We can be superstitious in this and entirely miss the point. I know of some Christians who honor the Bible merely as a book. They won’t stack any other books on it, and God forbid they ever set a coffee cup on its cover for even a moment! We can also be merely sentimental in our attitude towards it – it can sit on our shelves next to our children’s baby photos and our wedding album. Worse yet, we can be curators – I have a set of late 19th century, uncut works of Shakespeare that I will never read – they are artifacts to be preserved as my finest ever used book store expedition.
This month let us truly value the word of God for what it is, the expression on God himself to us concerning who he is and how we may live before him. Let’s pick it up each day with the same enthusiasm exhibited by your bibliophile pastor opening a small package with Lloyd-Jones review of some other guys book. Better yet, even more enthusiasm!
And resolve to live by his word. It is exalted above all things but God himself, and it is addressed to you.