Psalm 119: THE TIMELESSNESS WORD OF GOD

Psalm 119  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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A sermon examining two fronts of this section: the timelessness of the Word of God (part 1) and its practical implications for the believer (part 2)

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THE TIMELESSNESS WORD OF GOD- Psalm 119:89-96

We come to our next section of Psalm 119 which, as a whole, addresses the timelessness of the Word of God. Joel Beeke and Paul Smalley write this in their Systematic Theology,
“When we call the Bible the Word of God, we do not mean that it is merely a message about God or the writers’ reports of God’s message insofar as they understood it rightly. Rather, the written words of the Bible are actually God’s Word to us.”—Joel Beeke & Paul Smalley, Systematic Theology I, 316
We believe this, as a church, and as Christians, because the Bible makes it clear that it is, indeed, God’s Word. As God is eternal, timeless, so is His Word. Now, there is much that could be shared here with regard to God’s Word, such as the progression of revelation (i.e., Abraham to Moses, the development of the Law, the covenants, Christ, and the Church), but for times’ sake we will focus on what is presented in this passage of Psalm 119.
As such, we will divide this portion of Psalm 119 into two parts. Both maintain the timelessness of the Word of God, but interact with this doctrine in two ways: The Doctrine of the Timelessness of the Word of God (89-91) and The Implications of the Timelessness of the Word of God (92-96).
The first sermon, then, will be primarily on the doctrine of this timeless Word of God. The second sermon will focus on the implications, the outflow of what the Scriptures say as they apply to our daily lives.

THE DOCTRINE OF THE TIMELESSNESS OF THE WORD OF GOD- Psalm 119:89-91

We begin this section by establishing a foundation of the timelessness of God’s Word from three verses, each citing a different (though overlapping) aspect of God’s timeless Word.

I. IT IS TIMELESS BECAUSE IT IS INERRANT- 119:89

Our first observation from this psalm is that God’s Word is timeless in its inerrancy. Returning to Beeke and Smalley, they define inerrancy well, writing,
“The term inerrant simply means ‘without error,’ and veracity means ‘truthfulness.’ Therefore, by inerrant veracity, we mean that the Bible does not declare anything contrary to what is true and real, and all that it does declare is faithful and accurate, because it is the Word of God.”—Joel Beeke & Paul Smalley, Systematic Theology I, 372
That is, God’s Word does not contain error, nor does it say anything that is contrary to truth. For example, scientists long believed that the earth was flat. However, the Bible has always described the earth as round (Isaiah 40:22). Or, another example, bloodletting was a method of dealing with sickness and ailments. According to the
British Columbia Medical Journal, “With a history spanning at least 3000 years, bloodletting has only recently—in the late 19th century—been discredited as a treatment for most ailments.”
But Scripture clearly teaches that our blood enables us to live (Lev. 17:11).
You see, God’s Word is inerrant, it contains no errors. The psalmist makes an astounding claim, “Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven.”
Forever refers to an period of indefinite time. It is timeless. But it is also settled. It stands, it is fixed. I am sure many of you can relate, but when dads are packing their cars for a trip, they typically will strap the luggage down to the roof or trailer with an overabundance of bungee cords or ratchet straps. Once they are all tacked down, the dad will proudly say, “That isn’t going anywhere.” It is settled.
Well, the original “That isn’t going anywhere” statement centered on God’s Word. It is settled in heaven forever, for an indefinite period of time. It is timeless.
Jesus states it like this,
“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.” (Matthew 5:17-18, NASB)
God’s Word is timeless. It is settled, fixed forever. But the psalmist’s ties this into a particular location: in heaven. Heaven is used in a variety of ways in Scripture, ranging from the atmospheric realm (i.e., space) to God’s abode. It separates it from human beings. It is beyond our reach. Human beings and devils have long desired to destroy God’s Word (see Gen. 3:1-2), it is completely beyond their reach.
God’s Word is inerrant, and there is much more of which we could speak, but let us follow the psalmist’s progression.
I. IT IS TIMELESS BECAUSE IT IS INERRANT, but it is also...

II. IT IS TIMELESS BECAUSE IT IS ETERNAL- 119:90

So, God’s Word is inerrant, it is firmly settled and fixed and is not going anywhere. And, as I mentioned, these ideas overlap, but God’s Word is eternal, and thus, timeless.
The psalmist states several truths about God’s Word in this verse. He states “Your faithfulness continues throughout all generations.” It is not tied to one individual, or even a particular group of people. For example, God’s Word is not limited only to Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3), or to Israel that exited Egypt (Ex. 12:23-27), it is to all His people, throughout all generations. It is eternal, timeless.
I mentioned earlier about certain portions of Scripture not applying today as they once did. A perfect example of this would be dietary laws (Leviticus 11:3 and 7-8). These do not apply to us today, as evidenced by Christ’s statement Mark 7:14-23.
Now, we could also mention instances where Israelites were forbidden from mixing different materials into the same cloth (Lev. 19:19). This applied to Israel only. So, is this part of the Bible irrelevant? No, it is not. In fact, the principles behind the law are still applicable. Let me show you what I mean.
1 Peter 1:16 demonstrates the principle behind the laws regarding food and clothing (and many other things). It was to separate Israel from the rest of the world. They were to be a distinct people. That principle still applies today, it is timeless. So, even though OT Laws do not apply (the exception being the 10 Commandments), the principles do. In other words, they are timeless, eternal.
And the psalmist makes this point on the foundation of the earth. Just as the earth exists, says the psalmist, so does God’s Word persist (i.e., stand) for all generations. It is eternal. Believers have had God’s Word since Genesis chapter one, and believers will have God’s Word until Revelation 22:21.
I. It is timeless because it is inerrant, II. It is timeless because it is eternal, and...

III. IT IS TIMELESS BECAUSE GOD IS TIMELESS- 119:91

Notice how the earth and heaven (and God’s Word) stands: according to Your ordinances. God commands the heavens and the earth, and they stand, they persist.
When I use the phrase God is timeless, I do not mean to limit that to God’s age. God is eternal, having no beginning nor an end. He simply is, like He told Moses in Exodus 3:14,
“God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM’; and He said, ‘Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”— Exodus 3:14
No, I am using the phrase timeless to refer to the complete transcendence and sovereignty of God. He reigns, the Scripture unequivocally state. From Genesis chapter 1 to Revelation 22, God is seated on His throne, high and lifted up, and whatever He pleases the Lord does! Job chapters 38-41, God asks Job question after question after question that only God knew the answers. In chapter 41 in particular, God describes this magnificent and powerful beast and makes an astounding conclusion in verses 1-11.
God reigns, He is timeless, limitless in power, knowledge, and space. As a result, His Word is timeless. God would as soon cease to be God as His Word would cease to exist.
All things are Your servants, even the heavens and the earth. God is sovereign over creation, you can be sure He is sovereign over His Word.
What does this mean for us today?
Well, we will address this in more detail in Part 2. For now, rejoice in the goodness of God! He has provided His Word for us, His eternal and timeless Word! I want to end our time by looking at the London Baptist Confession of Faith 1689,
“The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man's salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down or necessarily contained in the Holy Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelation of the Spirit, or traditions of men. Nevertheless, we acknowledge the inward illumination of the Spirit of God to be necessary for the saving understanding of such things as are revealed in the Word, and that there are some circumstances concerning the worship of God, and government of the church, common to human actions and societies, which are to be ordered by the light of nature and Christian prudence, according to the general rules of the Word, which are always to be observed.” London Baptist Confession of Faith 1689, I:6
We have the timeless Word of God.
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