Sure, I like to think that I do. I make efforts to ensure I read the Bible every day if at all possible. I appreciate the way God’s word helps me to focus on Him, helps me experience His presence. I love the way the Holy Spirit can take words off the page and put the radical life of Jesus into the words and hence into my life. I love that I can read a very familiar passage and receive fresh revelation for today.
But then I look at David’s appreciation of the word of God, and it is a serious challenge! Look at what he says:
The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul.Psalm 19: 7-10, NIV
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring for ever.
The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous.
They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb.
Before we consider David’s thoughts about the law, we should bear in mind how little of the Bible David actually had! He didn’t have much more than the five books of the Law, the Pentateuch, namely Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. In addition, he probably had Joshua, Judges, Ruth, and presumably parts of First Samuel. And since David wrote almost half the Psalms he must have had access to more than half of them during his life. And to these we might add Job. In other words he had just nine complete books, plus one that he was writing, and one being written about him!
By contrast, we have the whole 66 books, we have all the psalms and the proverbs, we have the major and the minor prophets, and we have the New Testament, the gospels, the epistles, Acts and Revelation. Where David had a few precious pieces of the revelation of God, we have a glorious treasure trove full of diamonds and other gems. Most of all, we have the full revelation of Jesus Christ the Son of God, where David had just a few prophetic glimpses of what was to come.
Despite the limited amount of the word of God that David had, we see that his appreciation of the law – which made up most of the Bible he had – was immense. He acknowledges God’s law and teaching as not only right and trustworthy and true, but also radiant and light-giving, eternal and unchanging and wise. And verse 10 is not the cold considered verdict of a mere student of the law; by comparing the law to gold and to honey David is expressing his love, his joy, his heartfelt appreciation. He really loves the word of God, and we can only wonder at what he would have said if he had been able to read the whole Bible!