Love for the Word

The following is an adaptation of the sermon ‘Love for the Word’ preached by Pastor Michael White on Sunday, 5/12/2019, at CityLight Church. To listen to the full podcast please click

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Love for the Word

David did many things well. He had many attributes that contributed to his success. He stayed patient as he faced resistance to his calling. He was a devoted servant, even when those he served didn’t value his dedication. He led by example, charging into battle with his men.

But perhaps the single most important attribute David embodied was this: he was a lover of the Word of God. David prized the Word of God. He valued the Word of God. He would not live without the Word of God!

David is explicitly named as the author of 73 Psalms.[1] In addition, David is identified as the author of Psalms 2 and 95 by New Testament writers.[2] All told, David authored 75 Psalms in our Psalter. The Psalms tell us what was important to David. They tell us how he thinks! And one of the most common themes throughout the Psalms – these songs of praise to God – is a love for the Word of God.

What the Word Does

1) God’s Word Causes Us to Prosper

God’s Word gives life and causes us to prosper. Although David is not explicitly identified as the author of Psalm 1, this Psalm serves as an introduction to the entire Book of Psalms.

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. – Psalm 1:1-2

Do you want to be blessed? Delight in the law of the Lord! Meditate in God’s Word day and night.

Do you know what it means to “meditate” in God’s Word? “Meditate” is the Hebrew hagah, which means, “To reflect, to moan, to mutter; to ponder; to make a quiet sound such as sighing; to meditate or contemplate something as one repeats the words.”[3] As Jack Hayford’s Spirit-Filled Life Bible explains,

“Hagah represents something quite unlike the English ‘meditation,’ which may be a mental exercise only. In Hebrew thought, to meditate upon the Scriptures is to quietly repeat them in a soft, droning sound, while utterly abandoning outside distractions. From this exercise comes a specialized type of Jewish prayer called ‘davening,’ that is, reciting texts, praying intense prayers, or getting lost in communion with God while bowing or rocking back and forth. Evidently this dynamic form of meditation prayer goes back to David’s time.”[4]

When David “meditated” on the Word of God, he didn’t just think about it. He repeated the Word, out loud, over his life. And what was the result? He stepped into his destiny with supernatural speed.

Do you “meditate” on the Word of God? Do you actively proclaim God’s Word over your life? Whenever you encounter a new obstacle, do you command it to move with the Word of God? Whenever you are tempted in a new way by the enemy, do you respond to his devices with the Word of God? The Word of God is an incredible weapon; and your destiny depends on your willingness to use it.

Here is what will happen to the man who “meditates” in Scripture:

He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. The ungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind drives away. – Ps 1:3-4

Doesn’t it sound refreshing to be like that tree? You will be planted and refreshed. You will be rooted and grounded! You will be permanently fruity, even when you’re surrounded by drought.

When you build your life around the Word of God, “whatever you do” will prosper.

2) God’s Word Gives Us An Anchor In An Uncertain World

The Word of God is pure. It is uncorrupted. In a world full of counterfeits, the Word of God is the real deal you are looking for!

In Psalm 12, David finds himself surrounded by people who would say one thing, and then do another. He was discouraged because men who had promised to be faithful didn’t live up to their word. But in the midst of his struggle, he looked to God: the only One who will perfectly deliver on His Word! 

Help, Lord, for the godly man ceases! For the faithful disappear from among the sons of men. They speak idly everyone with his neighbor; with flattering lips and a double heart they speak. May the Lord cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaks proud things, who have said, “With our tongue we will prevail; Our lips are our own; who is lord over us?” “For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now I will arise,” says the Lord; “I will set him in the safety for which he yearns.” The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. You shall keep them, O Lord, You shall preserve them from this generation forever. – Ps 12:1-7

We live in an uncertain world. People come and go. The “faithful disappear” (v 1)! But God is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb 13:8). He doesn’t make promises He can’t keep, because He magnifies His Word above His name (Ps 138:2)!

Do you need an anchor in turbulent times? Something to make sure you don’t drift too far from your design, your destiny, and your purpose? Cling to the Word of God: the only guarantee you have.

3) God’s Word Makes You Wise

The Psalmist loved God with his whole heart. The Psalmist meditated on the Word of God all day! 

Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day. – Ps 119:97

David had many enemies. At times the Israelites faced wars on multiple fronts, as nations like the Philistines, the Moabites and the Amalekites attacked God’s people all at once. But David knew that no matter what his enemy was up to, God’s Word would make him wiser:

You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies; for they are ever with me. – Ps 119:98

David was in uncharted territory. The only example he had as a prior King of Israel was Saul; and Saul failed in many ways! But David knew the Holy Spirit – speaking through God’s Word – would be the best teacher he could ever have:

I have more understanding than all my teachers, for Your testimonies are my meditation. – Ps 119:99

David was wise. His son, Solomon, inherited the value David put on patient wisdom. But no matter how many books of ancient literature David read, he knew there was only one Book that really mattered: 

I understand more than the ancients, because I keep Your precepts. – Ps 119:100

David relied on God’s Word to keep him on the right path:

I have restrained my feet from every evil way, that I may keep Your word. I have not departed from Your judgments, for You Yourself have taught me. – Ps 119:101-102

David loved the Word of God more than he loved anything else in his life!

How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through Your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way. – Ps 119:103-104

Charles Spurgeon, known as the Prince of Preachers, had this to say about David’s love for the Word of God:

“First, then, let us consider David’s love for the word. He has tried to express the inexpressible by saying, ‘O how I love Your law!’ He cannot tell the Lord how much he loves it. He had good reason for loving God’s law—his love was a reasonable one. Love is sometimes blind, but in this case, David loved with his eyes open and loved with good reason.

“We ought to love all that God gives to us, and especially all His blessed teaching. If you do not love the Bible, you certainly do not love the God who gave it to us—but if you do love God, I am certain that no other book in the entire world will be comparable, in your mind, to God’s own Book. Where God’s handwriting is most plainly to be seen, there God’s servants will at once turn their eyes. When God speaks, it is the delight of our ears to hear what He says.[5]

Do you love God’s Word? Is it “sweeter than honey” (v 103) to you? Does an honest reflection of your lifestyle show that your prize the Word of God above all else: not only in deed, but also in action?

Smith Wigglesworth was a man of great faith. Dozens upon dozens of people experienced miraculous healing as he laid hands on them. Testimonies included a woman healed of a tumor, a woman healed of tuberculosis, a woman in a wheelchair walking, and many more.[6] There were even reports that people were raised from the dead as Smith Wigglesworth laid hands on them and prayed![7]

And do you know what trait Smith Wigglesworth shared with King David? He loved the Word of God. Wigglesworth often stated that the Bible was the only book he had ever read. He was a plumber by trade, with no formal religious or ministry training. However, he moved powerfully in the Spirit because he loved the Word of God!

Do you want to move in power? Read your Bible! Reading about the Word of God is not the same thing as reading the Word of God. There is no substitute for getting to know the heart and will of God; and it happens through His Word!

Why We Run

We all go through times in our lives where we run from the Word of God. When we are struggling with sin, our Bible is often the last Book we want to pick up. When we know we made a bad decision (or are tempted to make one!), Scripture is sometimes the last place we turn. After all, isn’t it better to ask for forgiveness than permission?

Receiving the Word of God can be painful, because the healthy conviction that comes from reading God’s Word can cut like a knife:

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. – Heb 4:12

The Word of God is sharper than any two-edged sword! It will pierce you in those places where you are acting to fulfill the desires of your soul instead of your spirit. But you need to feel that pain if you want to grow!

The times you feel like reading God’s Word the least, are the times you need to read His Word the most. Don’t run from God’s Word. Don’t be afraid of what He is going to say! His Word might hurt, but the temporary pain and conviction it brings will be worth the inevitable freedom that follows.

Finding Rest

Taken out of context, Hebrews 4:12 (above) seems downright painful. Why would I want to go back to my Bible every day if I know it’s going to be sharp and painful? But in context, we see that the supernatural surgery God’s Word brings is the only way we can ever find rest:

There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.

Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. – Heb 4:9-13

There is a rest that remains for the people of God! There is a level of beauty you have yet to see in your life, that God created you to experience! God wants you to cease from works, and commands you to “be diligent” to enter His rest! But you cannot enter the rest, unless you allow the Word to enter you!

Let God’s Word into your life. Let it cut you. Let it convict you! Let it bring the healing you so desperately need.[8] Let it give you life!

A Necessary Appendix

Does loving God’s Word mean you keep it perfectly? Certainly not. Loving God’s Word simply means you always come back to it, no matter what.

Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life. He did it for you! And that means you don’t have to be perfect any more. Aren’t you so glad that whenever you pick up your Bible, you have nothing to fear?

Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. – Heb 4:14-16

© Michael D. White, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Michael D. White with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

[1] Psalms 3-9; 11-32; 34-41; 51-65; 68-70; 86; 101; 103; 108-110; 122; 124; 131; 133; and 138-145.

[2] Psalm 2 is attributed to David in Acts 4:25; Psalm 95 is attributed to David in Hebrews 4:7.

[3] Strong’s H1897

[4] Jack Hayford, ed., New Spirit-Filled Life Bible (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2002), 687.

[5] Charles Spurgeon in sermon #3,090 from the Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, 1874.

[6] Roberts Liardon, God’s Generals (New Kensington, PA: Whitaker House, 1996), 204–224.

[7] Desmond Cartwright, Real Smith Wigglesworth (Ida, MI: Baker Publishing, 2003).

[8] “He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.” (Psalm 107:20)