It was one of those hot August afternoons that found Jess and I fly fishing on the Blackfoot River. When one needs childcare for such activities, one can’t be as picky as one would like! Thus, we were fishing on a day that was more suited for swimming or floating the river. There was little surprise in the fact that we were catching nothing. Finally, as we stood by a particularly deep and slow pool of clear, cool water, Jess could no longer take it. She put down her fly rod, kicked off her shoes, and dove into the inviting water. She sighed in relief as she came up out of the water refreshed and rejuvenated. Little relief would have been found from a small trickle escaping from a barren rock! It was the deep waters that gave relief!
Likewise, we are at a time in history when it is only the deep waters of God’s Word that give relief. We are at a time in which all other words are but a small trickle from a barren rock! I have been very much reminded of this as all the cute little sayings and memes that so characterize our day have stood out to me all the more as shallow and of little value. I shared on Sunday the Yogi tea “word of wisdom” that stated “Let things come to you.” Hardly sound advice in these times! Today, I encountered yet another one on the inside of a chocolate wrapper. It was supposed to impart wisdom to me with the phrase, “Laugh it off”. Again, hardly appropriate for the day! These “words of wisdom” which seemed shallow to me before only appear all the more so now!
We have been living in a time of great intellectual shallowness for many years now. Sadly, this has not left the church untouched. The Christian community is often relying upon things such as 5-minute devotionals and, for lack of a better term, “cute Christian phrases”. The problem in all of this is now deeply exposed in the face of the hardship many are now facing. Trying to deal with major issues like the effects of Covid-19 with a phrase from a Christian meme is like to trying to jump into a trickle of water for refreshment on a hot day! Times such as we are in remind us of our need for the deep waters of God’s Word!
Consider how the Psalmist wrote of God’s Word in Psalm 119: “Unless Your law had been my delight, I would then have perished in my affliction. I will never forget Your precepts, for by them You have given me life.” (92-93). “How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through Your precepts I get understanding.” (104). “I am afflicted very much; Revive me, O Lord, according to Your Word!” (107). “You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in Your Word.” (114). “Trouble and anguish have overtaken me, Yet Your commandments are my delights.” (143). “Great are Your tender mercies, O Lord; Revive me according to Your judgments.” (156). “Consider how I love Your precepts; Revive me, O Lord, according to Your lovingkindness. The entirety of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.” (159-160). Do you see how the Psalmist understood his need for God’s Word?
God’s Word is the deep water we desperately need! Only the Word of God can bring true refreshing and rejuvenation. Only God’s Word can stir our souls with deeper affection for Him and one another. Only God’s Word can truly give us perspective for the God who is True and knows all things authored it. Only God’s Word can show us the beauty of Christ and the hope of the Gospel. Only God’s Word can give us peace in times of turmoil. Only God’s Word can revive the downcast heart. No wonder David wrote in Psalm 19:7, “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul!” Dive into the deep waters of God’s Word and find refreshment for your soul!