"Listen, O heavens, and hear, O earth; for the Lord speaks" (Isa. 1:2).
God’s Word is the only source of divine authority.
We might assume that those who affirm the inspiration, inerrancy, and infallibility of God's Word would automatically submit to its authority. But that isn't always the case. Even those who hold to a high view of Scripture may sometimes fail to obey it. We need to be reminded that the authority of God's Word isn't simply a doctrine to be affirmed, but a priority to be pursued.
Israel fell into the trap of holding to a high view of Scripture while failing to abide by its statutes. To them Paul said, "If you bear the name 'Jew,' and rely upon the Law, and boast in God, and know His will, and approve the things that are essential, being instructed out of the Law, and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of the immature, having in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and of the truth, you, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself?
"You who boast in the Law, through your breaking the Law, do you dishonor God? For 'the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you'" (Rom. 2:17- 21, 23-24).
Israel's sin led unbelievers to blaspheme God. That's analogous to our society in which the Lord is constantly ridiculed because of the sins of His people.
You are the only Bible some unbelievers will ever read, and your life is under scrutiny every day. What do others learn from you? Do they see an accurate picture of your God?
Christians will always be maligned, but let it be for righteousness sake, not sin. As Peter said, "Keep your behavior excellent among [unbelievers], so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may on account of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God" (1 Pet. 2:12).
Suggestions for Prayer
- Confess any areas of your life where you are being disobedient to God's Word.
- Seek His grace and power to live each day as one who truly respects the authority of God's Word.
For Further Study
Read 1 Corinthians 10:1-13. What purpose does the Old Testament record of Israel's punishments serve for us?