Psalm 138:2, “I will worship toward Your holy temple, And praise Your name For Your loving kindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word above all Your name.”
I am drawn to hymns primarily for their packed theology. Read the lyrics of many of our songs today and compare to the lyrics of some of the old hymns, you find a huge difference. The hymns are so rich in God’s Word transcending feelings, they are grounded in truth. For the last few years I have had the privilege of tapping into teachings by some long gone preachers and I find again that their preaching and teachings are far different from many of the preaching and teaching we hear today. Their messages just like in the hymns were packed with theology. Oh I praise God for the age of technology (internet) giving us the ability to find materials lost over the years.
One thing these men of God did was point us back to the Word of God and taught it as it is whether it made them popular or not. Their mission was to please God, make God’s name great by preaching the whole counsel of God. They fought to keep the doctrine pure. Men like Charles Spurgeon, Martin Luther, John Bunyan, John Newton (wrote Amazing Grace), John Wycliffe, William and Catherine Booth, Charles Finney, DL Moody, Leonard Ravenhill, Paris Reidhead and many men God has used through the ages. What I love about listening and reading their materials was their quest to keep the doctrine pure by defending it by all means. For instance, Martin Luther wrote: “The great difference between doctrine and life is obvious, even as is the difference between heaven and earth. Life may be unclean, sinful, and inconsistent; but doctrine must be pure, holy, sound, and unchanging. Life may show omissions and come short of what doctrine calls for. But from doctrine (says Christ, Matt. 5:18 ) not a tittle or letter may be omitted, however much life may fail to meet the requirements of doctrine. This is so because doctrine is God’s Word and God’s truth alone, whereas life is partly our own doing. On this account doctrine must remain entirely pure. God will have patience with man’s moral failings and imperfections and forgive them. But He cannot, will not, and shall not tolerate a man’s altering or abolishing doctrine itself. For doctrine involves His exalted, divine Majesty itself. In the sphere of doctrine, therefore, forgiveness and patience are out of order.” Amen.
With false teachers and their doctrines on the rise, this is the time to completely yield to the Holy Scripture, pray for understanding, the ability to discern and be under pastors and teachers who teach true biblical doctrine. 2Timothy 3:16, “ALL Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness“. I run into people who say the bible cannot be fully trusted because it was written by men to which I respond it’s written by God through men as pens cannot write by themselves. If written by men, it would be filled with errors but it is written by God therefore, its content is pure. The scripture addresses a lot of things and one of the things that I am addressing today is Doctrine (teachings) of God’s word. Wrong understanding of the scripture opens us to error and false teachings that are easy to swallow and digest. Wrong understanding of the deity of Christ is enough to doom us to hell because without the right understanding of the true Jesus of the bible who is able to save, the wrong Jesus we think of will not save us for he does not exist.
1Timothy 6:20-21, “20 O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge- 21 by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith“. This word “your trust” translates to one Greek word, which means, “deposit.” The deposit Timothy was to guard is the truth, the divine revelation that God committed to his care. Every Christian, especially if he is in ministry, has that sacred trust to guard the revelation of God (1Corinthians 4:1; 1Thessalonians 2:3, 4) from what is falsely called knowledge. False doctrine is anything claiming to be the truth that is in fact a lie. False teachers typically claim to have the superior knowledge (as in Gnosticism). They claim to know the transcendent secrets, but actually are ignorant and infantile in their understanding.
David in Psalm 138 chooses to worship the Lord on two counts, His loving kindness and His truth. Then he says something that has struck me many times “…For You have magnified Your word above all Your name.” How is it that the Lord has magnified His Word above His name?, here is my understanding of this verse, the Lord has magnified (made it more important) His Holy Word to supersede everyone’s thinking of who He is, His attributes and the like. We cannot truly worship God we do not know otherwise we end up with a god we are comfortable with, a god not revealed in the Scriptures. The Lord God Almighty delights in His Word because it gives full counsel of who He is and His nature, this is the reason doctrine is vital. God has magnified His word above His name because the word gives weight, substance, value, quality to His name. Paul was concerned for his son Timothy so he advised him to guard what was taught to him. Even as I share daily, I want to magnify God’s Word and keep it pure. I do not want to misrepresent His Word and you have a responsibility to check out the scriptures to be sure that what I am sharing is in line with His Word. We have to be students of the word, hungry for truth even when it is not popular. Blessings Ev
- Preach The Word, Evans Olang (magnifyhisword.wordpress.com)