The Giant That Slew David

During my days in New England, I heard of a teacher who quizzed a group of college-bound high school juniors and seniors on the Bible. The quiz preceded a Bible-as-literature course he planned to teach at the Newton (Massachusetts) High School, generally considered one of the best public schools in the nation. Among the most astounding findings he got from the students were:

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Fallibility, Part One

Ever since I was knee-high to a gnat, I have been taught about and have believed in the infallibility of Scripture. Among the upper echelons of doctrinal truths, this one ranks alongside the Godhead, the deity of Christ, and salvation by grace. We may fuss around with a few of the events in God’s eschatological calendar or leave breathing room for differing opinions regarding angels and local church government.

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Think with Discernment, Part Two

Discernment is essential. Undiscerning love spawns and invites more heresy than any of us are ready to believe. One of the tactics of survival when facing “the flaming arrows of the evil one” (Ephesians 6:16) is to make certain we have cinched up the belt of truth rather tightly around ourselves. And what helps us do battle with the enemy also strengthens us in relationships with friends.

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An Annual Refresher Course

We have given much thought to the subject of wisdom and taken time to hear the counsel of ancient Israel’s wisest teachers. This discipline undoubtedly supplied you with lots of helpful information. Such knowledge is a good beginning, but I hope you won’t be satisfied with mere knowledge of the Bible. My first suggestion for becoming wise might seem obvious or maybe even redundant. Nevertheless, I stand by it.

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In Times of Warfare

Psalm 149 is not only a call to praise the Lord in times of blessing, and encouragement to praise Him in times of suffering, it’s also a call to arms. Praise the Lord in Times of Warfare: Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, And a two-edged sword in their hand, To execute vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples, To bind their kings with chains

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The Truth Perspective

A brief examination of Psalm 119 reveals benefits gained by those who absorb the Word. Let’s put three of them, wisdom, insight, and understanding, to the test by looking at a case study. Let’s imagine you recently got a job that has proven to be less than you expected. You prayed for employment, then, lo and behold, this job opened up. You were grateful. After a few weeks, however, you have found that the working conditions leave much to be desired.

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God’s Word the Cure

As I glance over Psalm 119:98–100, I see three benefits gained by those who absorb the Word: wisdom, insight, and understanding. Wisdom is the ability to look at life and its difficulties from God’s point of view. As I learn more of the Word of God and begin to get a grasp of its practical principles, I also gain the ability to look at life from a heavenly, eternal viewpoint.

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A Lack of Knowledge

Sometimes the grind of low enthusiasm results from not having sufficient knowledge to address life’s difficulties. While additional training in management or finances or parenting or vocational skills can certainly help, all knowledge must be built upon a foundation of spiritual wisdom. In verses 98–100 of Psalm 119, the composer speaks of the superiority of the Word over three sources of truth held in high esteem by the world.

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A Spiritual Problem

The psalmist’s lengthy poem about the Word of God holds the keys to regaining enthusiasm. Psalm 119 helps to identify issues that drag us down so we can address them with wisdom from above. After all, a lack of enthusiasm isn’t a problem with emotions; it’s a spiritual problem that can’t be corrected with a pep talk or even a happy experience.

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Needing More

Interesting word, enthusiasm. It’s derived from two Greek terms, en (meaning “in”) and theos (meaning “God”), carrying the idea of being inspired. In the original sense of the word, a person was so overtaken with the presence of God, he or she could barely contain the excitement. That makes sense. The truth of God applied to our circumstances brings a burst of enthusiasm nothing else can provide.

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