For February 9, 2020
How long is forever? As temporal and finite human beings, it is difficult to fathom the vastness of eternity. This is especially true for this fast-paced, modern society where obsolescence is measured by months, weeks, and even days.
Isn’t it amazing how the newest smartwatch, or the newest smartphone…the newest technology often arrives before we are accustomed to the old technology it is replacing.
But not so with God. He is eternal, and/or “from everlasting to everlasting,”1 His plans, His faithfulness, His loving kindness, His tender mercies, along with His purpose in grace, which preserve His people of faith even today remain solid and secure. Amen!
For God is not human, that He would lie to us, as Numbers 23:19 teaches. Instead, He is true and faithful in all His ways. This is also true for His Word, as the Psalmist attests in Psalm 119:89 (KJV):
For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.
Isn’t it comforting to know the promises found in the Bible are true and dependable, having been settled forever in Heaven?
There is no place in the world where we can one find such certainty in every situation, under every circumstance. We serve a faithful, loving God who will not rescind any of His promises. Instead He will more than adequately provide all our needs according to His riches in glory through Christ Jesus our Lord just as Philippians 4:19 tells us.
Our Bible provides a firm foundation for us. As we diligently read, study, and apply it to our lives each day, we grow more familiar with its truths and promises. Then, His Holy Spirit can call to our minds those things that will help us navigate life’s uncertainties. King David observes, “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”2 Our diligent study and preparation allow us to share biblical truths that benefit others and us.
While in seminary, and even since, I have met people who contend what God said during the time of Abraham, Moses, Elijah, Isaiah, Daniel, and what He did through Joshua, Deborah, Esther, Ruth, David, Job, Nehemiah, Malachi and all the Old Testament Saints, who lived before Christ are no longer valid nor are they binding to us as Christians.
Some of these critics of the Word have proposed—to their own peril—that because of Christ’s redemptive work performed on the cross by His death, and completed at the tomb by His resurrection we can disregard all the principles and teachings contained in the Law, Prophets, and Writings of our Old Testament Bible.
However in Matthew 5:17-19 (NLT), our Lord Jesus Christ affirmed the essential correlation between His redeeming life and ministry and the Old Testament Scripture as we understand it today. He especially stresses the critical role the Old Testament plays in the formation and development of Christian character and conduct (emphasis mine):
Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved. So if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.
In short, God’s Word—whether Old or New Testament—is applicable and relevant for our understanding of God’s standards for righteous for both the First Century and the Twenty-First Century New Testament Church as 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NLT) attests:
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.
Since Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God, affirmed His role as the fulfillment of God’s eternal Word, we have the assurance that every Word of God is eternal, faithful, and binding. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.3
Truly, God’s Word is established (on earth and) in Heaven forever. What a Wonderful Savior!