February 1, 2015

Purity of God’s Words

Written by:
Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy

David, the King, trusted in all of God’s words because he believed them to be perfectly pure. In today’s article, I would like to consider the purity of God’s words based on David’s two testimonies.

His first testimony in Psalm 12:6 is:

“The words of the LORD
are pure words: as silver
tried in a furnace of earth,
purified seven times."

The excellence of the Holy Scriptures is powerfully presented here by David. Firstly, the phrase “the words of the LORD” points out that all the words of the Scriptures are the LORD’s. Every word of the Bible proceeds from the LORD Himself. He used men, who were His servants, to write them down. As 2 Peter 1:21 declares, “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” Likewise, 2 Timothy 3:16 declares, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God.” The LORD is the actual author of the Bible.

Secondly, we are told that all the words of the Bible are “pure words”. The Hebrew word for “pure” has also been translated as “clean”. It points out that the Scriptures are absolutely free from all impurities of falsehood and error. Proverbs 30:5 also declares, “Every word of God is pure.”

The purity of the Word of God is illustrated and affirmed by these words, “as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times”. This evidently refers to the ancient process of purifying silver. The “furnace of earth” is where the metal was tried and purified. It refers to something like a crucible placed on the ground, around which a fire of intense heat was made. Such structures were found near the mines where ore was obtained. The ore was then purified by smelting it repeatedly till all the dross was removed from it. Here it is said that the ore was purified “seven times”. In other words, a time-consuming and meticulous effort was made to ensure the purity of the silver. Likewise, the LORD had seen to it that every word of His is pure in His infinitely pure eyes. He shall also keep every word of the Scriptures pure through all ages. So the next verse says, “Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever” (Psalm 12:7). We can be absolutely sure that every word in the Holy Scriptures is kept pure in all ages. Today, just as David had pronounced in Psalm 119:140, so can we also assuredly say, “Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it”!

The Holy Scriptures need no updating, editing, or refining. It is eternally pure and faithful. It is God’s infallible, inerrant and perfect Word. It is eternally true, relevant and enduring. It is God’s revelation kept pure for every generation. Because it is pure, it shall purify all those who live by it.

His second testimony in Psalm 119:140 is:

“Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.”

David always had the highest regard for Scripture. He always considered it as belonging to God; hence he referred to it as “Thy word”. In Psalm 119 alone, 35 times David used the phrase “Thy word” to refer to the Holy Scriptures.

We too must read the Scriptures in the belief that we are listening to the words of our God. Through the Scriptures, God communicates with us. So with great reverence and joy, we must attend to God’s Word. We must receive the truths it teaches as divine and glorious. Nowhere else have we such a perfect body of divine truths revealed for our blessing.

We have no reason to doubt what God’s Word says, for it is “very pure”. The Hebrew words “very pure” literally means “much tried or refined”. As David said in Psalm 12:6, “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.” God’s Word has been utterly tried and has been proven to be absolutely pure and perfectly righteous. Its purity is the purity of its Author, the infinitely holy God.

Like David, many men, who have repeatedly relied on all that Scripture says throughout their lives, have testified unto us with utmost certainty and joy that all that it says are pure. David also confessed, “therefore thy servant loveth it.” Would anyone declare his unabated, unbounded love for God’s Word if it has ever been found defective, deceptive or unreliable? David’s open declaration of his love for God’s Word is a grand testimony to its trustworthiness. Those who trust all that it says shall not be ashamed, as it has already been tested and proven pure.

Because God's Word is pure, it will also purify and preserve those who trust and obey its pure words. Earlier in this psalm, David said, “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word” (Psalm 119:9). It could very well have been David’s own experience, for he confessed later that “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psalm 119:11). He also testified, “I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word” (Psalm 119:101). The beauty of God’s holiness shines through every word of His Word. Those who walk in the light of His Word shall have the joy of walking in the beauty of His holiness. The pure Word of God shall keep us away from all defiling ways. So, let us love it as David did.

Gethsemane Bible-Presbyterian Church adheres to the system of faith commonly known as the “Reformed Faith” as expressed in the Westminster Confession of Faith together with the Larger and Shorter Catechisms.
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