I was recently doing some reading over the benefits of studying God’s Word and came across this article written on October 7, 2009 by Ronald G. Falconberry. I pray you will take the time to consider some of his thoughts from Psalm 19.
The Bible is believed by many to be God’s revelation to the world. In Psalm 19, King David indicates that those who study and embrace God’s Word will benefit spiritually.
The Bible is regarded by Christians, and the Old Testament is regarded by Jews, as the word of God through which he reveals himself to mankind. Many believe that personal Bible study of the scriptures is important to learning about God, his promises and what he expects of mankind.
King David identified some of the benefits of personally knowing and keeping God’s laws, saying, “The law of the lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the lord is pure, enduring forever . The ordinances of the lord are sure and altogether righteous.” (Psalm 19:7-9) [NIV]
Personal Study of the Bible Revives the Soul
Since the Bible states that man’s soul is eternal, many believe that revival or restoration of the soul is important. As David points out in Psalm 19:7 revival of the soul is a benefit to studying God’s word and he adds, in Psalm 23:2, that God restores the soul. The prophet Isaiah wrote that God would revive the spirit of the lowly and the heart of the contrite. (Isaiah 57:15)
Christians believe the idea that Bible study revives the soul is also found in the New Testament. Jesus told his followers that he would provide rest for those who were weary and burdened. (Matthew 11:28-29). Shortly before his crucifixion, Jesus told his disciples, in John 14:25-27, not to be troubled because the Holy Spirit he would send to them would remind them of his teaching and bring them peace.
The apostles Peter and Paul also believed that study of the scriptures would revive the soul. Peter wrote that knowledge of God gives believers everything that they need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3) and Paul stated that the peace of God would guard Christians’ hearts and minds. (Philippians 4:7)
Personal Bible Study Builds Wisdom
In Psalm 19:7, David noted that a benefit of studying God’s law is the development of wisdom. Moses told Israel that careful observance of the decrees and laws of God would demonstrate their wisdom and understanding to the nations around them. (Deuteronomy 4:5-7) King David’s son Solomon explained, at the beginning of the book of Proverbs, that they were written to help attain wisdom and discipline and to help them understand the “words of insight.” (Proverbs 1:2)
The epistle of James reveals that the wisdom which comes from Heaven is pure, peace-loving and is evident by a person’s good life and by their actions. (James 3:13-17)
Personal Study of the Bible Produces Joy
In Psalm 19:8, David identified joy as a benefit of studying the precepts of God. Job, in his pain and agony, told his companions that God would fill “your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.” (Job 8:21) God told Israel through his prophet Isaiah that his word would not return to him empty and that they would “go out in joy and be lead forth in peace.” (Isaiah 55:11-12)
In the New Testament, Jesus taught his disciples that obedience to God is how they remain in God’s love and that their joy would be complete. (John 15:9-11). After the Philippian jailer brought Paul and Silas into his house and cleaned their wounds, he was filled with joy because he heard God’s word and believed in him. (Acts 16:22-34)
Personal Bible Study Leads to Righteousness
Righteousness is another benefit of Bible study, according to David in Psalm 19:9. God considered Abraham to be a righteous man because he believed in God and was faithful and obedient to him. (Genesis 15:6). Moses echoed this thought to Israel in Deuteronomy 6:25 when he told them that obeying the laws of God “will be our righteousness.”
Paul wrote that the gospel of Jesus is the power of God through which everyone may be saved and through which God’s righteousness was revealed. (Romans 1:16-17) He also told Timothy that all Scripture comes from God and is useful in teaching, correcting and training in righteousness. (2 Timothy 3:16).
Summary of the Benefits of Personal Bible Study
According to Matthew Henry, “The Holy Scripture is of much greater benefit to us than day or night, than the air we breathe, or the light of the sun.”
While the Bible warns about the negative consequences of sinful actions, many of those who study the Bible concentrate more on what God encourages. They try to understand and embrace God’s desire that each and every person would love him, follow him, and love each other. They believe that the benefits of personal Bible study are the development of that love and, ultimately, an eternity in Heaven.
- “Ancient Words.” Young, David. (Sermon, delivered September 20, 2009; North Boulevard Church of Christ)
- Henry, Matthew. “Commentary on Psalms 19“. “Matthew Henry Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible”. 1706.
- NIV Life Application Study Bible (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1985).