“I lie in the dust, completely discouraged; revive me by your word.” Psalm 119:25
The argument with which this holy petition is urged is most powerful and prevalent. According to the promise of the word, and the instrumentality of the word. Both are engaged to quicken the soul. The promise is most precious: “I will heal their backslidings, I will love them freely; for my anger is turned away from him. I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon. Those who dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine.”
This precious promise to quicken and revive you, to shed the dews of His grace upon your soul, thus moistening and nourishing the roots and fibers and fruits of the new and heavenly life within you, God stands ready to fulfill in your holy and happy experience. “I will be to Israel like a refreshing dew from heaven. It will blossom like the lily; it will send roots deep into the soil like the cedars in Lebanon.” Christ is our dew: the dew of His love, the dew of His grace, the dew of His Spirit, is prepared, silent and unseen, but effectual and vivifying–to fall upon the renewed powers of your nature–reviving the work of God in your soul.
But by the instrumentality of the word, the Lord quickens the soul. The word of Christ is “spirit and life,” therefore it is a quickening word. “This is my comfort in my affliction; for Your word has quickened me.” Again, “I will never forget Your precepts; for with them You have quickened me.” Therefore did Jesus pray to His Father in behalf of His Church, “Sanctify them through Your truth.” Thus does the word quicken. We are here constrained to suggest an inquiry–May not the prevalent decay of spiritual life in the Church of God–the low standard of spirituality–the alarming growth of soul-destroying error–the startling discovery which some modern teachers appear to have stumbled upon, that doctrines which the Church of Christ has always received as revealed truth, which councils have authorized, and which creeds have embodied, and which the sanctified intellects of master-spirits–the Anakims and the Shamgars of polemic divinity and divine philosophy of past ages–have contended for and maintained, are not found in the Bible, but are the visionary dogmata of a by-gone age–we say, may not these prevalent evils be mainly attributable to the contempt thrown upon the word of God? We verily and solemnly believe it to be so.
We need to be constantly reminded that the great regenerator and emancipator of the world is the Bible–that nothing short of this disturbs the spiritual death which universally prevails, and that nothing short of this will free the human mind from the shackles of error and superstition which enslave at this moment nearly two-thirds of the human race. This “sword of the Spirit”–like that of Goliath, “there is none like it”–has overcome popery and infidelity, and, unimpaired by the conflict, it is ready to overcome them yet again. Oh, that in this day of sad departure from the word of God, we may rally round the Bible in closer and more united phalanx!
Firm in the belief of its divinity, strong in the conviction of its potency, may we go forth in the great conflict of truth and error, wielding no weapon but the “sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” In all our spiritual relapses, too, may the word of the Lord quicken us. May it, like a mighty lever, raise our soul from the dust to which it so much cleaves.