“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” (Psalm 119:11)
There is not a question in my mind that the Book I pick up daily and hold in my hand is the perfect Word of God. I believe this not because of any histories of textual criticism I have read through the years, but because I have lived those same years in its pages and heard the Voice of God speak. In this aspect of my Christian life, like all other aspects, I have gone “from faith to faith” (Rom.1:17).
But there is something I think bears mentioning here: It’s one thing to hold the Word of God your hand, but another thing to hide it in your heart. As obvious as this truth may seem, I have known some who held that the first reality would subsequently lead to the second. This kind of thinking can quickly degenerate into a schismatic superiority, which refuses to recognize that wrong doctrine and wrong living can be, and often are, taught and practiced, while using the right Bible. As Paul tells us, it is possible to hold the truth unrighteously (Rom.1:18b). “If so-and-so, and so-and-so, had only been in a church that used such-and such-Bible, their marriage would not have broken down.” No, the fact is, Peter denied the Son of God, when he was within seeing distance of Him; and you and I can disregard the principles of the Word of God, while holding it firmly in our hot little hands.
Notice, the text did not say, “Thy word have I held in my hand, that I might not sin against thee.” Access to the truth does not guarantee acquisition of it, and even less does it indicate adherence to it. And this is nothing to trifle with, since the Bible teaches the principle of greater light resulting in greater responsibility (Luke 12:48).
If you hold God’s Word in your hand today, hold it soberly and cautiously, not defiantly and confrontationally; for, as the writer of Hebrews tells us, it’s a “two-edged sword”; and it cuts both ways.
A Bible in the heart is worth two in the hand.