Wonderful – awe-inspiring – amazing – excellent – outstanding – remarkable – tremendous – dynamic – staggering – brilliant – fabulous – magnificent.
Thesaurus.com suggests at least 73 synonyms for the word wonderful. But I doubt that this is still enough to really describe the wonder of God – his person, his ways, his purposes, his love and his words.
In the Bible the word is used for:
The coming Messiah – For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)
God’s plans and purposes – Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago… All this also comes from the Lord Almighty, whose plan is wonderful, whose wisdom is magnificent. (Isaiah 25:1, 28:29)
God’s activities – Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind. (Psalm 107:8)
God’s words – and for this read the words of today’s stanza:
129 Your statutes are wonderful;
therefore I obey them.
130 The unfolding of your words gives light;
it gives understanding to the simple.
131 I open my mouth and pant,
longing for your commands.
132 Turn to me and have mercy on me,
as you always do to those who love your name.
133 Direct my footsteps according to your word;
let no sin rule over me.
134 Redeem me from human oppression,
that I may obey your precepts.
135 Make your face shine on your servant
and teach me your decrees.
136 Streams of tears flow from my eyes,
for your law is not obeyed.
“That book is affecting you!” These were words spoken by a close friend of mine, referring to my reading of the Bible prior to me becoming a follower of Jesus in 1970. No truer word was spoken!
Certainly, the Word of God affected the psalmist deeply. Consider one thing that he says concerning these words that are wonderful:
130 The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.
In this dark world of ours, which is full of human oppression (v. 134),how desperately do we need God to shine the light of his word into our lives to reveal His realities (i.e., give understanding) and to direct [our] footsteps (v. 133). Remember Psalm 119:105, Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.
Having then, this light and understanding, the psalmist could only feel sadness and grief for those around him who lacked this light and understanding. And so, he says,
136 Streams of tears flow from my eyes, for your law is not obeyed.
Knowing how wonderful God’s Word is and that, as Jesus said,you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32), the psalmist wept. One, because of the sheer foolishness of those who not only were disregarding God’s laws but even blatantly disobeying them. Two, because he understood the heart of God who desires all people to come and enjoy the benefits of a right relationship with Him.
James had some practical advice when it came to the word of God and you and me. He wrote to the early church:
22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. (James 1:22-25)
Is God’s Word affecting you in a way that is transforming you into the person God desires you to be? If not, maybe taking James’ advice will help.