Jun 16, 2015

God's Fixed and Enduring Word

Psalm 119:89–96

"Forever, O LORD, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens" (v. 89).

Clearly, the author of Psalm 119 found sustenance for his faith and strength to persevere in the midst of affliction from the promises of God found in His Word (vv. 81–88). As we have noted, this life-giving power of Scripture is part of its very nature as the Spirit-breathed revelation of our eternal Creator (2 Tim. 3:16–17). Moreover, as we learn in today's passage, the Word of God is a reflection of other divine attributes besides the life-giving character of the Lord of glory.

In addition to granting and sustaining life to the elect, sacred Scripture also reflects the steadfastness of our Maker. We read in Psalm 119:89 that the Word of the Lord is forever "firmly fixed in the heavens" (v. 89). The promises of God are as sure and unchanging as the cycle of the heavenly bodies, as sure as the rising and setting of the sun and moon as well as the arrival of rain clouds to water the earth. Thus, it is no accident that the Lord's promise to sustain the earth in the days of Noah is tied to the endurance of the seasons (Gen. 8:22). We rightly expect tomorrow to come, so we can rightly expect the promises of God to endure as well.

However, in light of the entire biblical canon, we see that the Word of the Lord is even more enduring than the seasonal cycle. Jesus tells us in Matthew 24:35, for instance, that heaven and earth will eventually pass away but that His "words will not pass away." Even in the age to come, when we will see God face-to-face, the promises of our Creator will endure as they are eternally confirmed and fulfilled in the new heavens and earth (2 Peter 3:13). Our life in glory will be an ongoing reminder of the Lord's utter faithfulness to His promises.

Because the promises of God are firmly fixed according to the surety of God's character, the psalmist can confidently confess that His "faithfulness endures to all generations" (v. 90). Even though the kingdoms of this world come and go, and despite the fact that human philosophies change with the passing of the time, divine truth lasts forever. There can never be a generation in which the Word of the Lord goes missing from creation. Augustine of Hippo comments in his Exposition on the Book of Psalms that "the Truth of God was never absent in His saints, at one time fewer, at one time more in number, according as the times happened or shall happen to vary."

Coram Deo

God's steadfastness is seen clearly as He preserves His Word in the community of His people. Even in the days when God's truth seems to be the last concern of the church, there is always a faithful remnant that is believing and handing down the promises of God. May we be part of that remnant that is so confident in God that we remain grounded firmly in the promises of His Word.

For Further Study