Facsimile copy of Codex Sinaiticus (The Word of God – the Bible)
I was in a library in NZ recently and came across the book in this photo. It is a copy of what is known as the Codex Sinaiticus. The original is held in the British Museum. Concerning this book, it said that it is “considered one of the most valuable manuscripts for establishing the original texts of the Greek New Testament, as well as the Greek translation of the Old Testament, the Septuagint. It can be dated accurately as having been written between 325 and 360 AD…only 300 years [after]…the original manuscripts of the New Testament…The Codex contains portions of Genesis, Leviticus, Numbers, Joshua, 1 Chronicles, Ezra – Nehemiah, Psalms, Esther, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations and Joel – Malachi…[and] the entire New Testament with the omission of a few verses.” Almost 1700 years later we are still reading these same words inspired by God, although now, God’s Word, the Bible, has been translated into hundreds of other languages.
In Psalm 33 the author exhorts us to praise and worship God. Then he gives us reasons why. His first reason is:
4 For the word of the Lord is right and true;
he is faithful in all he does.
5 The Lord loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of his unfailing love.
There is a saying that “a man [or woman] is only as good as his [her] word”, The obvious meaning is that a good man/woman is someone who not only makes promises, but lives up to them – in other words, someone who keeps his/her word. No one wants to be around a person who says one thing and then goes on to do something else. A person who does not do what he/she says cannot be trusted.
Not so with God. He is as good as his word! Listen to how the psalmist describes God and his word:
God’s word “is right and true” or as the Passion Translation puts it, “He is true to his promises; his word can be trusted”.
God himself “is faithful in all he does…[he] loves righteousness and justice.”
and the earth “is full of his unfailing love”.
This is the God we worship, the One whose person and character is as good as his Word.
But the psalmist continues and speaking of creation says concerning God’s word:
6 By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
their starry host by the breath of his mouth.
7 He gathers the waters of the sea into jars
he puts the deep into storehouses.
8 Let all the earth fear the Lord;
let all the people of the world revere him.
9 For he spoke, and it came to be;
he commanded, and it stood firm.
Reminding us of Genesis chapters 1 where we read:
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (1:1)
And where we then read the often repeated 3 words,
And God said… (1:6, 9, 14, 20, 24 and 29),
as He spoke all things we now take for granted into existence – and that from an “earth [that] was formless and empty”. (1:2)
When God speaks, things happen! Or as the psalmist puts it, he spoke, and it came to be.
Blaiklock says, “A new discovery of God’s faithfulness (4), a fresh insight into [his] unchanging love (5), has driven the writer of [this] song to deeper wonder of [the] Creator, [the] awesome power behind all nature (7), who yet can communicate with the creatures of his making (8) and will bend strength so unimaginable to their good (9).”
He continues: “As Paul maintained (see Romans 1:18ff quoted below*), the very spectacle of the universe should turn any contemplative mind to the discovery and worship of the Mind behind all matter.” (# 37)
* 18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. (Romans 1:18-20)
So, no wonder the psalmist is so enthusiastic about praising and worshiping God and encouraging others (us) to do the same!
Not only is:
God’s word “right and true” or as The Passion Translation (TPT) puts it, “He is true to his promises; his word can be trusted”.
God himself “is faithful in all he does…[he] loves righteousness and justice” or, “everything he does is so reliable and right. The Lord loves seeing justice on the earth”. (TPT)
And then on top of all this,
the earth “is full of his unfailing love” or “Anywhere and everywhere you can find his faithful, unfailing love.” (TPT)
Let me conclude with the words of Michael Wilcock:
“Everything God does is right and true, and faithful to his own character. Righteousness and justice underpin it all. In a world where so much is evidently not right, we may not always see how this can be. But the truth is that none of the areas of human study touched on in Psalm 33 – science, history, geography, politics – can ever be properly understood apart from this moral framework. Good and evil are woven into the fabric of the universe, and those who explore and exploit it ignore that fact at their peril.” (# 5)
Father, what a wonderful thing it is that we have your reliable Word, the Bible, today to be able to read and understand who you are and be amazed at your love and concern for us, mere humans. Then to see things that happen in this world you created from the perspective of your faithfulness, goodness and righteousness. Open our eyes daily to discover new truths from your Word. Amen.