Today's Foundations Devotional: Eternal, authoritative

Probably no character in the Old Testament had a clearer understanding than the psalmist David of the truth and authority of God’s Word. David writes:

Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven (Ps. 119:89).

Here David emphasises that the Bible is not the product of time but of eternity. It contains the eternal mind and counsel of God, formed before the beginning of time or the foundation of the world. Out of eternity it has been projected through human channels into this world of time, but when time and the world pass away, the mind and counsel of God revealed through Scripture will still stand unmoved and unchanged. The same thought is expressed by Christ Himself.

Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away (Matt. 24:35).

Again, David says:

The entirety of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous judgements endures forever (Ps. 119:160).

In the last century or two persistent criticism and attack have been directed against the Bible, both Old and New Testaments. However, by far the greatest part of this attack has always been focused on the book of Genesis and the next four books which follow it. These first five books of the Bible, known as the Pentateuch or Torah, are attributed to the authorship of Moses.

It is remarkable, therefore, that nearly three thousand years before these attacks against the Pentateuch were conceived in the minds of men, David had already given the Holy Spirit’s testimony to the faith of God’s believing people throughout all ages.

The entirety of Your word is truth (Ps. 119:160).

In other words, the Bible is true from Genesis 1:1 right on through to the very last verse of Revelation.

Christ and His apostles, like all believing Jews of their time, accepted the absolute truth and authority of all the Old Testament Scriptures, including the five books of the Pentateuch.

In the account of Christ’s temptation by Satan in the wilderness, we read that Christ answered each temptation of Satan by direct quotation from the Old Testament Scriptures (see Matt. 4:1-10). Three times He commenced His answer with the phrase “It is written...” Each time He was quoting directly from the fifth book of the Pentateuch, Deuteronomy. It is a remarkable fact that not only Christ, but also Satan, accepted the absolute authority of this book.

In the Sermon on the Mount Christ said:

Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. [This phrase ‘the Law or the Prophets’ was generally used to designate the Old Testament Scriptures as a whole.] I did not come to destroy but to fulfil. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled (Matt. 5:17-18).

The word jot is the English form of the name of the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet, roughly corresponding in size and shape to an inverted comma in modern English script. The word tittle indicates a little curl or horn, smaller in size than a comma, added at the corner of certain letters in the Hebrew alphabet to distinguish them from other letters very similar in shape.

Thus, what Christ is saying, in effect, is that the original text of the Hebrew Scriptures is so accurate and authoritative that not even one portion of the script smaller in size than a comma can be altered or removed. It is scarcely possible to conceive how Christ could have used any form of speech which would have more thoroughly endorsed the absolute accuracy and authority of the Old Testament Scriptures.

Lord, Your Word and righteous provisions are forever. Thank You Lord Jesus for coming to fulfil the Law and the Prophets. Help me to understand more and more what You have done for me. And in this time of much Scripture criticism to be a living witness of the power of Your eternal Word. Amen.

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