We have taken deliberate effort the last few days to consider evidences of grace common to every believer. These evidences of grace give every Christian cause for thankfulness. Even in the darkest moments, when we can find no other cause for gratitude, we can be thankful for God’s creation, love, provision, and forgiveness. This morning, we add to those common evidences of grace, which spur our gratitude, God’s word. The psalmist expressed this gratitude when he wrote, “I rise at midnight to thank you for your righteous judgements” (Psalm 119:62, CSB).
Psalm 119 is a psalm about God’s word. Every verse in the psalm references the word in one form or another. In v. 62, “your righteous judgements” should be understood as God’s word. Long before the canon of Scripture was completed—long before even the Old Testament was complete—the psalmist expressed a deep longing for God’s word. It was more precious to him than sleep so that he would rise even at midnight to praise God because of his righteous rules.
Are we moved with such gratitude for the gift of God’s word that we would give our sleep for it? Sleep is good and necessary, but the psalmist was so thankful for God’s word that he counted it more precious than sleep. We should view the Scriptures with similar thanksgiving. Here are five reasons that the gift of God’s word should drive us to gratitude.
First, the Bible enables our obedience by producing faith in us. The psalmist highlighted his commitment to obeying God’s law. He had promised to keep God’s words (v. 57) and, when he considered his ways, committed to turning back to God’s decrees (v. 59). He committed to prompt obedience (v. 60) even in the face of overwhelming opposition (v. 61). Such commitment was not self-developed; it was the product of faith, which comes through Scripture. “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17).
As we consider our immense privilege to have such easy access to God’s truth, which enables our obedience, we should be moved to gratitude.
Second, and related to the above, the Bible gives us the power to break free from the shackles of sin and Satan. Jesus said that the truth sets his disciples free (John 8:32). Paul added that the knowledge of the truth helps God’s people to escape from the snare of the devil so that we do not have to do his bidding (2 Timothy 2:24–26). We were born in bondage to sin and Satan, but God’s word gives us the power to break free.
As we consider our immense privilege to have such easy access to God’s truth, which gives us the power to break free from sin and Satan, we should be moved to gratitude.
Third, the Bible enables our growth in Christlikeness. Again, Jesus said, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17). Elsewhere, the New Testament tells us that God’s promises, contained in his word, enable our escape from “the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire” (2 Peter 1:3–4). The Christian life is one of growth in Christlikeness and it is Scripture that empowers that growth. We should be overwhelmed with gratitude at the gift of that which enables our sanctification.
Fourth, the Bible saves us. Yes, Christ saves, but the instrument by which he saves is his word. Those who ultimately perish will perish “because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved” (2 Thessalonians 2:10). As we persevere in the teaching of Scripture, we ensure our own salvation and the salvation of those who hear us (1 Timothy 4:16). The gospel is contained in the page of Scripture, without which we would never come to salvation. As we ponder the inestimable gift of God’s written word, we should be moved to gratitude for the salvation that it brings us in Christ.
Fifth, the Bible shows us Christ. Early in the ministry of the prophet Samuel, “the LORD appeared again at Shiloh, for the LORD revealed himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the word of the LORD” (1 Samuel 3:21). If the Bible provides us with no other benefit, the benefit of having Christ revealed to us should move us to humble gratitude.
As you meditate this morning on the psalmist’s commitment to give thank for God’s righteous judgements, do the same. Thank God for the gift of Scripture, which produces faith, grants freedom from sin and Satan, enables our growth, guarantees our salvation, and reveals Christ.