“The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.” (Psalm 119:130)
The Bible often gets a bad rap. Being an ancient book there are cultural, historical, and theological hurdles to mount when we decide to study it. But, we should not take this to mean that the Bible is inaccessible. God has spoken through his written Word in such a way that we might understand who he is and what he wants us to do.
This verse in the Psalms (119:130) supports this. We read that the Scriptures bring understanding to the simple. The simple here are referring to those who are not masters of theology. Instead, those who gain understanding are the uneducated and unrefined. This reflects the Lord’s kindness. Instead of hiding the most important truths on the highest intellectual shelves, God makes them accessible to spiritual toddlers. I remember as a new Christian not knowing that the Bible had two testaments or who Abraham or Paul was. But, I was told to read the Bible. The faithful Christian friend could confidently cast me upon the Word. Like a sturdy anchored ship amid a rough sea, I could collapse upon the deck of the Word and find the necessary shelter and food for my weary soul.
But notice, it is through the unfolding of the words that light comes. The unfolding here refers to the explanation of the Scriptures. This brings encouragement for discipleship in the church. Through the teaching of the Bible, people grow in their understanding of the Word of God.
This also blesses me as a teacher of the Scriptures. Through the regular preaching and unfolding of the Word people begin to understand. Calvin comments on this passage, “As soon as they have learned the first principles of the law of God, they will be endued with understanding.” As we begin to grow in knowledge, God grants understanding and wisdom. Soon, the acorns grow to oaks.
The ministry of the Word is not a fruitless endeavor, but a blessed vocation. With the Lord Jesus attending the preaching of his Word does he not visit his disciples, like those saints on the road to Emmaus, to cause their hearts to burn within them? He grants them light to see and savor him as the Word of God is explained.
As we begin to grow in knowledge, God grants understanding and wisdom. Soon, the acorns grow to oaks.
The accessibility of Scripture is a beautiful privilege. As stewards, we should not only be grateful but zealous in the pursuit of learning. Because, as William Plumer says, “A little secular learning may make a man a fool; but even a little divine knowledge may save one’s soul.”
May we be grateful to God for the Word of God. It is wonderful indeed (Ps. 119:129).
Editor's Note: This originally published at The Gospel Coalition.