Previously, I wrote to you of the eternality of God’s Word based on Psalm 119:89. It is there that our eyes were fixated on the real beauty of God’s Word, lifting it up to its appropriate place in the context of daily living with our Lord. The poetic words used to describe the Word are also similarly ascribed to God in the next verse. Psalm 119:90 reads:
“Your faithfulness endures to all generations, you have established the earth, and it stands fast.”
The Revelation of God Through His Word
As His Word is eternal, so is God (Psalm 90:1-4). That realization encompasses the point that his characteristics are also eternal. The Psalmist declares that God’s faithfulness will continue on throughout each generation, never fading, never failing, and never finishing. This in itself is a comforting point for contemplation during those times in which we struggle and feel distant from God. Because it is declared to be true in His Word, we can trust that God is faithful even when people are not. Our rest and comfort can be found in the character of God rather than our own feelings or the actions of men.
Why is it though, that this verse is placed here? In the midst of a stunning exaltation of the Word of God in which the Psalmist declares a desire to know and do God’s law (equating it to the Lord’s love and faithfulness), we also find displays of God’s character.
God’s Word Is Indicative of His Character
God’s Word is reflective of the very character of God. Meditating on God’s law (Psalm 1:2; 119:97) is more than an act of contemplation of words on a printed page, it is contemplation of who God is. From it we can learn the nature of God and how it is reflected through His actions — such as creation, judgment and salvation. To learn of God requires a relationship with His Word. Perhaps it is better said, to have a relationship with God, it requires a relationship with His Word.
God’s Word Is Indicative of His Promises
Scripture reveals to us the promises of God to His people, and even more, we can see the fulfillment of those promises. From the Word we learn of God’s promises to Abram to bless him and make him a great nation, but only after they are oppressed as slaves for 400 years (Genesis 12:1-9; 15:13). More spectacular to us is the opportunity to see those promises fulfilled in His Word (Genesis 12:7; Galatians 3:16; cf. the Book of Exodus and life of Moses). As God gives His Word, He is faithful to fulfill His Word.
God’s Word Is Indicative of His People
Finally, God’s Word reveals to us just who we are, both apart from Christ and with Christ. We learn from it that we are sinful (Romans 3:10, 23). But the Lord does not leave it at that. Instead, through His Word he offers hope. First, in His literal Word, the Bible, He tells us that reconciliation can be obtained (Romans 10:13). Second, the Bible reveals to us that the Word is also the Lord Jesus Christ (Revelation 19:13). The hope of our salvation is the Word, Jesus Christ, who is revealed through the Word, which is the Bible.
The Revelation of His Word Through God
Not only does the Word of God reveal the character of God, but also, when meditated upon, God’s character reveals more about His Word. Individually, verses 89 and 90 reveal much for the Christian’s relationship with God, but taken together in context, that revelation is powerfully multiplied.
What is not immediately clear upon a cursory reading of the text is that the faithfulness in verse 90 is also synonymous to God’s Word (1). Therefore, when reading verses 89 and 90 together, there is but one conclusion: Because God’s Word is eternal in heaven, then it can also be depended upon here on earth. That is to say that God is faithful to keep the promises which He has given through His Word, and He will do so through all generations.
It is incredible to think that God’s Word isn’t simply true because it declares itself to be true, but because it has also proven itself to be true from one generation to another. Throughout history, what God’s Word has said will occur has done so accordingly. Why is it then that we find it so difficult to trust in the promises of God, and instead trust more in the promises of men? Surely, when placed side by side, evaluation would tell us that God is more faithful to fulfill His Word than men are.
By God’s Word, We Can Know
In this understanding then, faith in God is rooted in a truth that has been proven. Therefore, faith is not senseless, but reasonable. Our faith in God is understandably connected to our faith in the truthfulness of the Word. The more we spend time in it, the more it reveals God to us and the more it connects us to a deeper relationship with Him.
It is by God’s Word that we can know who He is. It is by God’s Word that we can know who we are. And it is by God’s Word that we can know God’s relationship with His people.
(1) The understanding of God’s faithfulness being synonymous to God’s Word is attested to by various scholars, for example James Montgomery Boice, Martin Luther, and Steve Lawson.