A careful study of the Word of God can reinvigorate a person who finds himself wanting to avoid the Bible. While there are many ways of studying the Bible, this article will in particular address the benefits of partaking in what is known as bibliology (simply put, the study of the Bible). It can be somewhat confusing to understand the dividing lines between studying a topic in the Bible and studying the Bible itself.
Not all Bible study is bibliology. Different areas of study emerge in the Scriptures. Soteriology is the study of salvation. This includes topics such as justification and redemption. Christology is the study of Christ. This includes topics such as the person and deity of Christ. Eschatology is the study of the end times. This would include topics such as postmillennialism, premillennialism, amillennialism, etc.
When one speaks of bibliology, what is found underneath this umbrella are topics such as the authority of Scripture, the sufficiency of Scripture, the inerrancy of Scripture, etc. It seeks to answer the question, “What is said about the Bible itself?” It is on this question that we now turn in an attempt to revitalize the dried-out heart with a careful and quick study of God’s Word.
Joshua 1:1-9 gives the Christian a plethora of claims pertaining to the Bible itself. Allow these claims to substantiate your love for God’s Word yet again.
God’s Word is enduring
The enduring nature of God’s Word is a cause to elevate the inspired Scriptures above other documents. As the book of Joshua begins, the Israelites’ beloved leader is no longer with them. How earth shattering must that have been? Moses was in the forefront throughout their whole departure from Egypt. Moses was all they knew. He was their mediator between God and man and acted as a type of Christ for them.
In a similar fashion, during each and every generation, there have been pillars of the church that have been raised up by the sovereign purposes of God. Every Christian may have someone in particular rise in their minds as that person. It can be difficult to see someone such as this encounter death, and the question may surface, “What now?” The people of God faced a “What now?” moment.
However, in the midst of death, there was an enduring Word that remained. God speaks to Joshua and says, “Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses” (Jos. 1:2-3). Despite the death of God’s servant, God’s Word remained.
God’s Word is promising
For those of you who need an anchor in a storm, God’s Word is the place to turn. God’s Word is promising. Scripture says, “Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shall thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them” (Jos. 1:6). In God’s Word, numerous promises are given. The Christian can turn to God’s Word during times of great difficulty. In it, he can find a promise for each and every challenge that he will face.
In times of affliction, he can see that God promises to work it for His good. During times of being weak and worn out, he can see that Jesus promises to give him rest. If the Christian finds himself ridden with guilt, promises of forgiveness can be found in the Bible.
Joshua had to go into a new land filled with people who were ready for war. He was in a warzone, and he was in charge of a vast army. Where did Joshua find his place of rest? The promises of God.
God’s Word is encouraging
It can be very easy for the Christian to fall into discouragement. In a sense, it is somewhat foolish to be discouraged. The reason for this is that the Bible says the Christian will fail. The Bible says that the Christian is flawed, and so is the world he finds himself in. Therefore, it is a mysterious thing that when this reality comes to bear on the life of a Christian, it is as though he did not see it coming. Discouragement begins to set in, and this robs a person of his strength and desire to fight for the Lord. Hope is seemingly lost, and the Christian finds himself needing rescue.
What is the rescuing element that God has given His people? It is the Word of God. God encourages the discouraged through His Word. In Joshua 1:6, God not only gives a promise to His people but also encourages His people through it. He tells His people to be courageous. Yet He does not just tell them to be courageous, but He also points to a good reason to be courageous. In this, God encourages His people. He tells Joshua that He will be the One to give them the victory.
God’s Word is prospering
God’s Word is prospering, and God’s Word is assaulting. It would seem that every Christian would want God to fight for him. To have God fighting our battles is an amazing thought. Who could stand before the Creator of the heavens and earth? He formed man from the dust of the earth, and with His breath, He breathed life into his nostrils. If at any moment God took back His spirit, man would return to the dust. He spoke, and the world came to be. He desired that there would be stars and moons and planets, and so there were. He is a God Who can walk on water and calm the storms. He is One Who can call down legions of angels at any given moment to fight for His cause. He can make the sun stop and turn back. He can make the day turn to night and the stars fall from the sky.
But the question arises, “How does God fight for His people?” God has given His people a sword, and it is through this sword that God fights for His people. In Joshua 1:7, God tells His people to be very careful to do what His Word tells them. God informs them that if they are careful in this regard, they will be prosperous in the land.
In this statement, the implications are clear. It is through God’s Word that God fights for His people. Maybe better yet, it is through obedience to God’s Word that God fights for His people. The Sword of the Spirit is swung properly through obedient acts, not just by knowing what it says or quoting what it says.
God’s Word is reminding
God does not shy away from reminding His people of what He has already stated. God knows there is a need within man to be reminded of what He has said. Man has a tendency to forget what he has heard. Scripture says, “Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of good courage… for the Lord thy God is with thee…” (Jos. 1:9). God says, “Have I not commanded thee?” He tells the people yet again something that He has previously said.
God knows that His people, who are about to go into battle, need to be reassured that God is with them. His reminding is a reminding that is done in love. His Word is important to His people, and He wants to make sure that His people know what it says.
As you look to the Word of God and seek to find it purpose, you will find that the Word of God is enduring, promising, encouraging, prospering, and full of reminders. Take note of all of these great benefits that the Word of God will give to your life when you turn to it and do what it says on a regular basis. Allow this simple study of God’s Word to refresh your heart and turn to His Word yet again.
Father, I thank You for Your Word. Help me to love Your Word more. Help me to elevate Your Word in my heart and in my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen