Study Means Learning

Scripture does more than just teach; it changes us. Many times it does so by giving us information and insight we can get nowhere else.

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Study Means Learning

  • As God communicated with His people throughout time
  • As He provided them with His written word
  • That word has been a delight and a help and a lifeline for them
  • We are privileged to have the Bible readily available in our language today
  • Some in the world do not
  • Many throughout history have not
  • This is why the words we’ll read today from Psalm 119 are so enthusiastic
  • Hearing directly from the God of the universe is a great joy!
  • As you can imagine, it is also a great education
  • That’s what we’ll be talking about a little today
  • As our theme is “Study Means Learning”
  • We know, from our discussions in previous programs, that scripture does more than just teach
  • It changes us, as God intended, into the kind of people He intends
  • Many times it does so by giving us information and insight we can get nowhere else
  • Psalm 119 is a great text about the scriptures
  • Let’s look into one portion of the Psalm for clarification on our theme…

Psalm 119:97-98

97  MEM. O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day. 

98  Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. 

  • For a person in the midst of trouble (in this case surrounded by enemies), the word of God is critical
  • It offers wisdom beyond any the ungodly can find
  • And while they may have power or might or numbers or experience
  • We have the instruction of almighty God
  • This is why the person in a scenario like this can declare with confidence “I love thy law!”
  • It provides a platform, at least for survival, and often for victory
  • That makes it worth meditating up all the day
  • It is used for reflection by the reader
  • It is an object of study
  • During not just a portion of the day, but all day
  • If enemies are ever-near
  • The follower of God must be ever-ready
  • Prepared in mind and heart to act in accordance with God’s will
  • What else does this kind of reflection on the word provide?

Psalm 119:99-100

99  I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. 

100  I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts. 

  • There are no teachers in the world that know more than God
  • No teachers that can communicate with more effectiveness than God
  • It’s not that teachers have nothing good to say
  • Of course, if they point us to Him, they have a great deal of good to say
  • But nothing beats going directly to the source
  • The same is true of teachers from ages gone by
  • People who are old or who have already died and left us their writings
  • Any number of them may be helpful, but going directly to God and acting in obedience is best
  • When verse 99 talks about “understanding” it is referring to insight and prudence
  • This is what study can provide
  • Verse 99 says “understand” – and that is a different word
  • That means to have discernment, to be capable of distinguishing
  • When we have insight and can discern, we are capable of living out Godliness
  • But this only comes when we deeply consider, with careful attention
  • And that results in other actions…

Psalm 119:101-102

101  I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word. 

102  I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me. 

  • The Bible can keep us from doing things that are wrong
  • That is when we know and internalize its truth
  • When we understand some not-doing is pleasing to God
  • And as this verse indicates, when we are circumspect and avoid the traps of Satan
  • We have the opportunity to go on in obedience
  • As we are not hindered or weighed down
  • Scripture also has the ability to keep us on a right path
  • Obedience can be habit-forming
  • As God teaches through the Bible and the work of the Holy Spirit
  • It can keep us on a straight path, a narrow path
  • And that is the one that leads to life eternal
  • This kind of learning and living is a delight…

Psalm 119:103-104

103  How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! 

104  Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. 

  • The more we partake of God’s word the sweeter it is to us
  • While falsehood becomes bitter to us
  • There is no experience greater in the world than being enlightened by scripture
  • That which is against scripture, which is against God, is to be hated
  • There is no understanding in the false way – the unscriptural way
  • But God’s precepts help us discern and distinguish
  • All this learning and growing is accomplished in us for a reason…

Psalm 119:105-106

105  NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. 

106  I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments. 

  • We are going to need a light in this world
  • Things can get dark quickly
  • Not even the path directly ahead of us can often be seen
  • But God’s word can light that path
  • It can show us where to safely and securely step
  • So we do not get off-course or fall
  • Why would we not then commit ourselves (without reservation) to obedience?
  • A victorious life – a joyful life – demands righteousness
  • To live successfully, we must live rightly

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