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Better than Gold . . . Sweeter than Honey

by Stephen Davey Scripture Reference: Psalms 19:8–14

Do we take the Bible for granted? We need to treat it as the treasure it is—the enduring Word of God Himself, which offers guidance and instruction that is as trustworthy as the one who gave it. Psalm 19 reminds us that God’s Word is of far greater value than much fine gold.


Better than Gold . . . Sweeter than Honey

Psalm 19:8b-14

I’ve heard it said, “If the average believer truly understood what would happen if he used the Bible more often, he would open it more often.” The reason is simple: Other books are given to us for information; the Bible has been given to us for transformation.

The tragedy is that according to surveys I have read, the average Christian opens his Bible once or twice a week at most—and that includes Sundays.

Well, the fact that you have joined me in this Wisdom Journey through the entire Bible indicates that you are not the average Christian! You are wanting to be transformed by biblical truth as we study together through all sixty-six books of this transforming, inspired book.

Now so far here in Psalm 19, we have discovered that God speaks daily through His big book—that is, creation. We call this general revelation. It’s general, in that it is generally available to everybody on the planet. All they have to do is look around at this big universe.

But God also has given us a little Book—the Bible—which we call special revelation. It is unique for it is divinely inspired—breathed out—by God (2 Timothy 3:16-17). But you have to read it in order to find out what God has in mind.

What we have read so far in Psalm 19 has told us some of what the Bible is. David also has told us some things the Bible does—it revives us, makes us wise, and gives us joy.

We are now in verse 8, where David adds, “The commandment of the Lord is pure.” That word “pure” means without contamination. God’s commandments are free from corruption; they will keep your heart from becoming contaminated too.

One of Satan’s most popular lies is that if you obey God’s Word, you are going to miss out on something in life. That’s a lie!

But how do you get spiritual 20/20 vision so you can spot that kind of lie? David says here at the end of verse 8 that the commandment of the Lord enlightens the eyes. The Hebrew construction implies that God’s Word gives off light—like a candle in a dark room. 

David goes on in verse 9 to say, “The fear of the Lord is clean.” “Fear” is used here as another term for the law. The word for “clean” is used often in Exodus and Leviticus to describe a person who is ceremonially cleansed and able to offer God a sacrifice.

Here’s the picture David is giving us. You think you are walking in the right direction, but then you open God’s Word, and it sheds light on some area in your life that isn’t right. When you confess that sin to the Lord, He cleanses you (1 John 1:9), and then you are able to really enjoy fellowship with the Lord once again.

Imagine that! The God who created the universe wants you to fellowship with Him.

Then David says here in verse 9 that the fear, or Word, of the Lord “endures forever.” The other day my wife had a box of canned goods for me to take to the garbage collector because the items had expired.

David is telling us the Bible does not have an expiration date. And I’m thankful for that, because today our world—and even the church at large—thinks that so much of God’s Word is out of date and needs to be thrown out.

But the Bible lasts forever. Jesus said in Matthew 24:35, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” There is no expiration date on the truth of God’s Word. You might apply things differently in this dispensation than in the Old Testament but its truth remains timeless and its principles can be applied to your life to this very day.

David adds here in verse 9, “The rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether.” In other words, the Bible will never lead you astray. Charles Spurgeon wrote many years ago, “The word of God is founded in righteousness and thus it is always right.”[1] That’s true – because God’s Word is God’s words.

These are God’s words. They represent His character and reveal His heart. They cannot be anything but true and righteous altogether.

When you make choices according to God’s Word, you are not going to miss the mark. I remember reading about a television show where they staged an experiment with a real cannon. They wanted to see what would happen if they fired a cannonball into a large container of water. So, they got everything ready, trained their cameras, and then fired that cannon. Unfortunately, the crew had not aimed it correctly.

According to a newspaper report, “The cannonball missed the water containers, flew through a cinder-block wall, skipped off a hillside, flew 700 yards over a highway, and finally slammed into a minivan parked in a driveway.” Local authorities could only shake their heads in amazement.[2]

That was a lot of damage from one stray cannonball! When you and I get off track, the damage to our lives can be just as terrible. How do we stay on track? How do we hit the mark? How do we aim our lives in the right direction? David would say, “Let God aim your life according to the truth of His Word.” 

Now that David has told us what the Bible is and what the Bible does, he tells us what the Bible becomes for us.

First, it becomes our greatest treasure. He says here in verse 10: “More to be desired are they than gold.” “They” is referring to the law, the testimony, the precepts, the commandments, and the rules of God. They are more desirable than gold, and David adds, “even much fine gold.” And remember, this is written by a king who had a lot of gold in his bank account.

If David were living today, he might illustrate this by inviting us to take a trip over to Fort Knox, Kentucky. Go deep down into the vault, where you are surrounded by thousands of tons of gold bullion. Then look at your Bible and say, “You know, if I have to choose, I’ll choose the Bible, over all that gold.” Why? Because gold cannot restore your life and make you wise and give you joy and enlighten your eyes and aim your life in the right direction and keep you on track.

David knew that gold can get us off track, so he made this comparison. Don’t aim your life in that direction. Keep in mind that one day in the Father’s house, we are going to discover that gold has been used to cover all the streets and sidewalks. It is nothing more than common asphalt in heaven.

David goes on to say that the Bible becomes our sweetest delight. Verse 10 says God’s Word is “sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.” It makes your mouth water, doesn’t it? In David’s day, sweetness was measured by comparison to honey.

Honey is an amazing product. It is all natural; it digests easily; and it provides immediate energy. I use it to sweeten my cup of coffee every morning at home. If it offends you that I drink coffee, well, you’re just going to have to get over it. I like coffee, and I don’t like cats—you’re going to have to forgive me for that too.

The thing about honey is that we don’t make it, and we didn’t invent it—God did. All we do is collect it, eat it, and gain energy and delight from it.[3]

And that is the sweet delight of God’s Word. We didn’t write it, and we didn’t invent it—God did. All we do is read it and savor it, and it sweetens our lives and brings delight to our hearts.

So, let’s make sure today we thank God for revealing Himself in the big book of creation and in the little Book of great treasure—the Word of God.

[1] Charles Haddon Spurgeon, The Treasury of David, Volume 1 (Zondervan, 1977), 273.

[2] Demian Bulwa and Henry K. Lee, “Mythbusters Cannonball Hits Dublin Home, Minivan,” SFGate, December

7, 2011,

[3] Charles R. Swindoll, Living Beyond the Daily Grind: Book I (Word Publishing, 1988), 63.

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