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Psalms 119:96 I have seen an end of all perfection: but thy commandment is exceeding broad.
One of the old time preachers once said something to effect that God’s word is like a bed that is so big you can stretch out on it and not feel the edge in any direction. I’ve thought about this so many times. It is impossible to exhaust the word of God.
[Now when I speak of the perfection of God’s written word, I’m speaking of the Authorized King James Version for English speaking people. The reason I clarify this is that some of the modern translations and paraphrases are no doubt exhaustible.]
The perfection of God’s word is so broad that we can never outgrow it. We can never learn all that is there. Even if we start reading it and studying it from our youth we will never get it all, we will never understand it all, we will never get beyond it – if we are honest.
The perfection of God’s word is so broad that no matter what subject we can come up with there is always something that will answer it. God was not shortsighted when He gave His revelation. I have been amazed in my finite mind at things written in God’s word that answer so perfectly and directly some issue that has come up so many thousands of years after the scriptures were complete, as if the verses had been written for that very question – and perhaps they were. The broadness of this perfection is marvelous.
The perfection of God’s word is so broad that it can give milk to the unskillful and meat to the those of full age.
Hebrews 5:13-14 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
It can take a new born Christian and feed him with milk (yes, even with the “hard words” of the King James Bible, it can feed and instruct him at a level he can grasp; and don’t worry about those “hard words”, he’s supposed to be unskillful!). Yet, it can challenge the saint who has walked with God for many years and exercise him with the strong meat that will keep him growing. Such broadness of spiritual diet all from the same book is stunning, especially when one compares this to the writings of other religions.
The perfection of God’s word is so broad that it can divide the soul and spirit, discern the thoughts and intents of the heart and also divide the joints from the marrow. This, of course, is rather mind boggling because it speaks of both spiritual and physical actions from His word. I think that we may not fully understand the dividing of the joints and marrow till we see Jesus Christ smite the nations with the rod of His mouth.
Revelation 19:15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
The perfection of God’s word is so broad that it upholds all things. Yes, ALL things.
Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
And, speaking of the Lord Jesus Christ, another amazing broadness of the word of God is that it can be an abstract – a thought or idea; a concrete – a book we can hold in our hands; and a person – the Lord Jesus Christ; all at the same time. John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
Somehow I doubt that we can get our minds around this last thought. It is too big and broad to fit inside our tiny brains and thought processes.
Speaking of which, if there are things in the word of God that we cannot understand nor explain, and there are, this does not make God’s word too hard nor too complicated, nor does it mean that we are too stupid and shouldn’t bother with it. It simply proves that it is God’s word. Were it not broader, bigger, mightier and beyond the scope of our human thoughts, it wouldn’t be the word of God. Anything less couldn’t be trusted.
Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Does this mean we should give up trying to understand and grasp more of this great thing called scripture? Not at all! What it means is that we can dive into it without fear of hitting bottom. We can devour it without fear of running out of food. We can mine it for jewels and treasures without fear of exhausting its resources. We can share it without fear of lack to ourselves.
We can stretch out on it without the slightest fear of ever falling off the edge! :-)
Jeremiah 15:16 Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.
Photo taken in Tanzania by my grandfather, Glenn Hoover, sometime in the '50s or '60s.
This post was originally published here in June 2012. Edited.