I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart; before the “gods” I will sing your praise. I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word.
When I called, you answered me; you made me bold and stouthearted. May all the kings of the earth praise you, O LORD, when they hear the words of your mouth. May they sing of the ways of the LORD, for the glory of the LORD is great. Though the LORD is on high, he looks upon the lowly, but the proud he knows from afar. Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes, with your right hand you save me. The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O LORD, endures forever— do not abandon the works of your hands.
There are two things the Lord honors above all else, His name and His word. For example, when He promised to restore Israel in the last days, He said,
“It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone. I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Sovereign LORD, when I show myself holy through you before their eyes.” (Ezekiel 36:22-23)
Israel doesn’t exist again because they proved themselves worthy, but because His name is at stake. They besmirched it, and He had to restore it because He’s made big promises to us as well.
Where His word is concerned He said,
“For this is what the LORD says—he who created the heavens, he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited— he says: “I am the LORD, and there is no other. I have not spoken in secret, from somewhere in a land of darkness; I have not said to Jacob’s descendants, ‘Seek me in vain.’ I, the LORD, speak the truth; I declare what is right.” (Isaiah 45:18-19)
“Remember this, fix it in mind, take it to heart, you rebels. Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please. (Isaiah 46:8-10)
For those of you who were taught that the New Testament canceled or superceded the Old, Jesus said,
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” (Matt. 5:17-18)
In the idiom of the day, the phrase “the Law and the Prophets” referred to the Old Testament. God’s word is final, infallible, forever.
Why is this so important to us? Well, in the first place it’s because God uses prophecy to validate Himself.
“I foretold the former things long ago,” He said, “My mouth announced them and I made them known; then suddenly I acted, and they came to pass. For I knew how stubborn you were; the sinews of your neck were iron, your forehead was bronze. Therefore I told you these things long ago; before they happened I announced them to you so that you could not say, ‘My idols did them; my wooden image and metal god ordained them.’ You have heard these things; look at them all. Will you not admit them?” (Isaiah 48:3-6)
Of all the world’s so-called Holy Books, only the Bible does this. In fact, God uses prophecy as the standard for evaluating anyone’s claim to be God.
“This is what the LORD says— Israel’s King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God. Who then is like me? Let him proclaim it. Let him declare and lay out before me what has happened since I established my ancient people, and what is yet to come—yes, let him foretell what will come.” (Isaiah 44:6-7)
All anyone claiming to be God has to do to prove it is to answer two questions. First, tell us everything that has happened. And second, tell us everything that will happen. God has been doing this very thing for nearly 6000 years now and He’s never been wrong. No one else can make that claim.
So, His word is so important because it’s His proof that He is Who He claims to be. You don’t have to wonder if there’s really a God. Just study His word. You’ll find more proof that He’s who He claims to be than you can muster up to prove that you’re who you claim to be. It doesn’t take any faith to believe there’s a God. It just takes the application of your God-given intellect in a search for Him. That’s why in the New Testament, one of the Greek words translated unbelief also means disobedient. There’s simply too much evidence to deny the existence of God, so the people who do so have to remain consciously ignorant the facts. They have to refuse to know Him.
The second reason this is so important is that we’ve been asked to stake our eternal destiny on the fact that God is reliable. It’s good to know that someone who has asked you to take His word for something so critical values His word so highly, because by the time we find out if He was telling the truth, it’ll be too late. But when Paul wrote “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” in Romans 10:13 the One standing behind his promise had a 4000 year track record of honesty and integrity, and nothing has happened in the 2000 years following to diminish that record. If anything we have more supporting evidence now than then.
So where your salvation is concerned, God has placed the two things He values most highly on the line, His name and His word. You have every right to feel secure in His hands.