As we begin 2023, there are testimonies being given every day in our country. Some of them are true accounts, and some of them are bald-faced lies. What testimonies do you listen to? In today’s world of social media, we are bombarded with all kinds of testimonies and statements (and it is only in court where folks have to swear to tell the whole truth, so there’s that). But, what testimonies do you believe? Judges and lawyers listen to lots of them. Apparently, so did King David. He said: “Thy testimonies are wonderful: therefore doth my soul keep them. The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” (Psalms 119:129-130 KJV)
According to Webster’s
Since David brought it up, and since we are going to be exploring some people’s statements about Jesus over the coming days, I was thinking a bit today about the nature of testimonies, and more specifically about God’s testimonies. The standard dictionary definition for testimony is: “1. Law. The statement or declaration of a witness under oath or affirmation, usually in court. 2. Evidence in support of a fact or statement; proof. 3. Open declaration or profession, as of faith.” A testimony is accepted as evidence. It is mainly used in court or in church, places where truth is supposed to matter. (As opposed to today’s newscasts, political arena or social media…).
You Can Look It Up
Testimony is given to affirm or declare something that happened. God’s testimonies are declarations of what God has done throughout history, evidence that the Creator has not abandoned us to the whims of history and death. I know a lot of people have a hard time accepting the Bible as God’s Word. It has ancient stories that speak of things which seem impossible. Noah’s ark. A burning bush. A virgin birth. A cross. A Resurrection. Many people do not believe those things, and yet there they stand, testimonies written in a book providing evidence in support of a fact.
The writer of Hebrews said that “faith is… the evidence of things not seen.” You don’t really see wind, but you certainly see evidence of its passing. The same could be said about God’s testimonies. “But this is the twenty-first century!” we declare. “Look at all the things we know, and all the progress we have made! We have outgrown the Bible.” Have we? We live in a sophisticated age, relative to data. But not so much, relative to morality and kindness. The testimonies of God speak to that. They challenge us to a higher standard, to have testimonies of our own…
Our spiritual nature and perception of God makes us unique among all the animals, requiring love and purpose as opposed to mere instinct; God’s words speak to that too. God has revealed himself to man throughout history. It’s written down in His testimonies.
But, say you don’t believe all that. Let’s say I give you all of the “archaic” stories that seem like myth; we’ll explain away the Ark and the Red Sea and the Lion’s Den. I’ll concede your point and you can take all of those away. So then, do this for me: just explain Jesus. The testimonies about him are powerful. He never wrote a book, and yet his words are quoted every day. He said things that no one else said, did things that no one else did. You may not have literally seen his life, but you have certainly seen the evidence of his legacy. Does any historian deny the historical presence of Jesus of Nazareth?
The Jesus Differential
The testimonies about his life were so captivating that people literally died defending them. By the thousands: Stubbornly. Defending. Testimonies. Have you ever really considered what Jesus said? He was arguably the wisest man who ever lived… And, oh yeah, He believed in the testimonies. (Bible trivia: about 10% of the his words in the Gospels are direct quotes of the Old Testament.)
Perhaps that’s why he said, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:4)
What sustains you spiritually? What do you live by? Are God’s testimonies valid, and is there any reason why we should pay attention to them?
First, as David suggests, we should keep it because it’s wonderful. God’s word has our best interests at heart. It gives advice for positive living; it offers sustenance, understanding and wisdom, even to the simple…even to me. Second, the testimonies of God are a doorway to truth in a world full of spin, half-truths, and outright deception. Therefore pay attention to them, not because you ought to, but because, as David said, they are wonderful! (Which reminds us that God’s Word is indeed… full of wonder.)
They are statements of truth that are made in court;
They are evidence given providing support.
The judge will consider their content, and then
He’ll decide who did what, why they did it, and when!
If you want to know what is true and what’s not,
Just read testimonies all given by God;
King David just loved them, and read them each day
To provide him some wisdom and light on the way!
If you ever question, here’s something to do:
Consider the Bible and whether it’s true.
Take a hard look at Jesus, and when you are through,
Then decide if he has any answers for you.
There are millions of folks–I don’t think they are phonies–
Enjoying the wonder of God’s testimonies!
If you honestly read them, and write a report,
You might see that they’re true. And would hold up in court!
To purchase my newest book Real People, Real Christmas: Thirty-one Days Discovering the Hidden Treasures of the Christmas Story, go here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1729034918/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
For Slaying Giants: Thirty Days with David, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Slaying-Giants-Thirty-Devotions-Ordinary/dp/172568327X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1535814431&sr=8-1&keywords=Slaying+Giants%3A+Thirty+Days+With+David
To buy my book, Beggar’s Bread, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Beggars-Bread-Devotions-Ordinary-Guy/dp/1535457392/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1473336800&sr=8-1&keywords=Beggar%27s+Bread