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Thursday, May 19, 2016
Great Literature - Our Daily Bread Ministries daily devotional 19 May Thursday
How sweet are your words . . . , sweeter than honey to my mouth! Psalm 119:103
Recently I came across an article describing what constitutes great literature. The author suggested that great literature “changes you. When you are done reading, you’re a different person.”
In that light, the Word of God will always be classified as great literature. Reading the Bible challenges us to be better. Stories of biblical heroes inspire us to be courageous and persevering. The wisdom and prophetic books warn of the danger of living by our fallen instincts. God spoke through various writers to pen life-changing psalms for our benefit. The teachings of Jesus shape our character to become more like Him. The writings of Paul orient our minds and lives to holy living. As the Holy Spirit brings these Scriptures to our minds, they become powerful agents for change in our lives.
The writer of Psalm 119 loved God’s Word for its transforming influence in his life. He recognized that the ancient Scriptures handed down from Moses made him wise and more understanding than his teachers (v. 99). It kept him from evil (v. 101). No wonder he exclaimed, “Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long,” and “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (vv. 97, 103).
Welcome to the joy of loving great literature, especially the life-changing power of God’s Word!
Lord, thank You for Your Word and its powerful influence in my life. Help me learn to put its truth into practice.
The Spirit of God uses the Word of God to change the people of God.
When we hear the word law, we think of obligations and regulations, so the psalmist’s exclamation of love for God’s law might sound strange to our modern ears. However, the Hebrew word translated “law” is torahand literally means “direction” or “instruction.” At this point in Israel’s history, Torah had become the designation for the books of Moses. In the Hebrew context it included more than just the religious and civil regulations. It also included the stories, songs, poems, and laws in the first five books of the Old Testament. Yahweh had spoken, and His instructions and directions—whether through law, story, or song—always lead to wisdom (Ps. 119:98).