Bibliophila, peace, and steadiness

Bibliophila, peace, and steadiness

Those who love Your law have great peace, and nothing shall offend them. – Psalms 119:165

Psalms 119:159-165

 159 See how I love your commandments, LORD. Give back my life because of your unfailing love.

 160 The very essence of your words is truth; all your just regulations will stand forever.

 161 Powerful people harass me without cause, but my heart trembles only at your word.

 165 Those who love your instructions have great peace and do not stumble.

On December 07, 2010, Reuters reported that a privately owned copy of John James Audubon’s richly illustrated Birds of America sold for a record $11.5 million. It smashed all previous records for a printed book. Only 119 copies of Birds of America are known to exist. There are now only 11 copies in private hands. The book contains 1,000 illustrations of about 500 breeds of birds and took Audubon 12 years to complete.

The book was bought by a London book dealer Michael Tollemache, a true bibliophile. He described the work after the sale as “priceless.”

The word bibliophilia connotes a love for books. It comes from the Greek terms phila love, lover, and bibliobook. A bibliophile is someone who loves books. They are fascinated with them and the stories they tell. What an ideal term to describe someone who is in love with the Bible, the Word of God. David, king of Israel, was such a man a true Bibliophile.

Psalms 119:47 How I delight in your commands! How I love them!

It is important to reflect upon what material David had available to contemplate, ponder, meditate upon, and hide in his heart. He lived circa 1000 BC. What books of the Bible had been written at that time? Primarily, the Torah, the Five Books of Moses, Joshua, Judges, and Job. David was reading and meditating upon the Law of God with all of its commandments, statutes, and ordinances. They delighted him. In the present day with a complete Bible, we may take delight in the Gospel of John or the Psalms or Proverbs, or contemplate and deliberate over Romans and Ephesians, but Leviticus and Deuteronomy? Really! David was a special man with a special heart for the Father and His Word.


Psalms 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Father may I fall deeply in love with Your Word. May I meditate upon it frequently and continuously.


Focusing on the Father and loving His Word, has two delightful benefits: peace and stability.

As we praise Him and His word, asking for nothing, somehow it remarkably makes the problems we face look much smaller and the future more bright. The singing saint is a stable saint, walking on a level path even when the enemy digs pits and sets up obstacles (Wiersbe).

Psalms 119:165 Those who love Your law have great peace, and nothing causes them to stumble.

The Hebrew word translated peace is shalom. Shalom means far they more than the absence of conflict. It has the idea of well-being, wholeness, health, completeness, prosperity, and having nothing essential lacking (UBS).

The Scriptures characterize life as a walk, a journey.

The Hebrew word translated stumble or offend is mikshol. Mikshol pictures a hindrance or offense (HAL). Imagine an individual living their life and walking a path over rough terrain. When they love the Father’s Word, they are not easily offended nor do they stumble and fall. Stumbling blocks are certainly present, but do not get tripped up by them.

When we fall in love with the Word of God, we become far less sensitive to slights, insults, and struggles that characterize life in our fallen world. We can face life’s implosions and difficulties with peace, serenity, and stability. This is not peace and stability which comes from the lack of adversity. This is peace and stability amid adversity. Children of the King are not immune from sorrow or difficulty, but they have the freedom not to become entangled by them.

In Psalm 23:4, the term traditionally translated the shadow of death elsewhere simply means darkness. Here it has the sense “the valley of deep darkness,” “the dark valley,” “the darkest of all valleys,” “a valley dark as death.” It connotes a dangerous and foreboding place (UBS).

Psalms 23:4 Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.

David was able to face dark and foreboding circumstances with confidence and fearlessness.


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