“More to be desired are [the words of the Lord] than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.” -Psalm 19:10
Some handle the Bible as simply a book of facts. The stories are real and there are moral nuggets to extrapolate, but the Bible’s worth ends there. Others handle the Bible as only a book of life application. Its only value being found in how I am to live…or want to live. Both of these blurry lenses to view God’s Word are removed in this one verse in the Psalms.
For the worshiper of God, the Word of God is desirable. The law, testimony, precepts, commandments, fear of the Lord, and rules found in the Bible as described in the previous verses are more precious and valuable than pure gold, sweeter than fresh drippings of honey from a honeycomb. This Psalm isn’t sung by someone simply wanting cold, hard facts from God or simply wanting a life application and motivational speech from God. This is sung by someone who read the Bible as God revealing Himself to be utterly glorious as well as a God to be delighted in.
Sin and affliction do not make my heart glad. No matter how much I invest in myself from either of these two human experiences, no matter how much I praise or justify sinfulness, my heart is not glad. Gladness of heart comes from the reality of this Psalm. To deeply desire God’s voice, the voice of our Good Shepherd upon the narrow road, the lamp unto our feet. To find God’s Word as sweet and enjoyable.
This is enjoyed by a sinner forgiven, yes. Deeper still, this is enjoyed by a prodigal son welcomed home by the father and into a celebration (Luke 15:11-32). This is enjoyed by the principled self-righteous persecutor Saul of Tarsus when the resurrected Jesus knocked him down (Acts 9). In this I enjoy God’s Word, as a prideful, ugly sinner who once thought I could out-think Christianity and exceed in truth and morality greater than the teachings of Christ and His followers.
How did Jesus’ words become so sweet and so precious to me? Jesus Himself became sweet and precious to me. The Bible didn’t simply show me facts or how to live. The Bible shows me Christ.
How sweet and precious Jesus is to me. Even when following the voice of my Good Shepherd leads to pain, my heart confesses Peter’s response, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68). Sweet, precious words of eternal life. In my foolishness, I am prone to wander. His Word restores my life (Psalm 119:107). In my sadness and terrors of the night, His Word leads me to the Rock of my salvation (Psalm 62:1-2). In my fears, His Word reminds me He is beside me and I may sleep and wake again (Psalm 3:5-6).
His Word no longer condemns me as a criminal of His law, for I, even a sinner as I, belong to Christ (Romans 8:1). The pure law of God with its perfect precepts and rules I have broken was faithfully and perfectly obeyed by Christ (Philippians 2:8). My precious, sweet Savior is my righteousness before God. My blind eyes are opened, my deaf ears can hear, but my Lord who speaks the words of eternal life.
I plead with you to hear the precious, sweet words of the Lord Jesus Christ, these words of eternal life, and follow the Good Shepherd. You are not too great a sinner, too disheartened, or too self-righteous and intelligent for the only wise King Jesus to rescue from the wrath of God. Hear His precious, sweet words of eternal life and follow Him.
Heavenly Father, my prayer to You is for the readers to know You, to hear Your perfect law and discover the preciousness and sweetness of the words of our Lord! Open their ears to hear Christ’s words of eternal life and follow. You are altogether lovely and glorious, a God of great works worthy of eternal praise. Hallelujah to our great God and Savior! In Jesus’ name. Amen.