The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple (Psalm 19:7, ESV).
The Bible can be described many ways. Even in only a few verses from this one psalm—Psalm 19—David referred to it as being “the law of the LORD,” “the precepts of the LORD,” “the commandment of the LORD,” “the fear of the LORD,” “the rules of the LORD,” His decrees and judgments (verses 7–9). God’s Word is simply too grand and comprehensive to be reduced to one single concept. Each descriptor is meant to alter the way you view every portion of Scripture.
The aspect of “testimony,” for example, from verse 7—this idea of the Bible being “the testimony of the LORD”—should influence the way you hear and receive it. Think of it almost as if God is appearing on the witness stand, testifying—delivering His own “testimony”—about Himself. This is who I am. This is what I’m like. This is how I handle things. This is My character. He’s giving the expert opinion on how He’s created life to work. This is what is true. This is what you need to watch out for. This is what will bring you joy.
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But unlike the courtroom testimony we’re familiar with, where judge and jury must try to ascertain whether what’s being said is true or not, “the testimony of the LORD is sure.” It’s reliable. It’s durable. It’s altogether trustworthy. His testimony is the standard for what’s true. The word “sure” in the original language is similar to our word “amen”—the word we sometimes hear from an enthusiastic congregation when they’re registering agreement with what’s being said. Yes! That’s right! I agree!
It is “sure.”
And because His Word is so “sure,” it can give us something we desperately need.
It can make us “wise.” It can show us what to do. God’s witness to Himself is so reliable that it can take a vacillating simpleton and make him or her skilled in daily living.
That’s what being wise means. Skilled in daily living. Wouldn’t you love to see that happening? Wouldn’t you love the confident feeling of living consistently on solid principle, on God’s sure testimony? How many of us, who have been so clueless at times—when we haven’t really known what we were doing or what to do next—would love to finally see some positive distance growing between the way we live and the way the rest of the world lives?
We live in a world of simpletons: people who value what is worthless and disdain what is priceless. People who laugh at perversity and wince at morality. People who wink at wickedness and condemn the righteous. People who embrace what is foolish and reject what is wise.
But your testimony can be what God’s testimony declares. You can be spared the heartache experienced by those who do not weigh the realities of life against the measure of what’s said in His sure, reliable, and durable Word. By walking in the ways of the Lord—by aligning all your thinking and planning and doing and decision-making so that it squares up with the witness God makes to Himself in Scripture—you can live each day with the wisdom you need.
You have skills if you have His testimony.
You’ll walk wisely if you walk in His Word.
Now read this: Why we all need accountability to keep our faith strong
This post originally appeared on Dr. James MacDonald’s daily devotional Our Journey and was republished with permission.
James MacDonald (D. Min. Phoenix Seminary) is the founding senior pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel, leads the church-planting ministry of Harvest Bible Fellowship, teaches the practical application of God’s Word on the Walk in the Word radio and television programs, and is a gifted author and speaker. You can find out more about James and his ministries at WalkintheWord.org.