An unerring chart by which to steer through the dangerous sea of life!
(Arthur W. Pink, "The Attributes of God")
God has placed His Word in our hands for an intensely practical purpose — namely, to direct our walk and to regulate our deportment. The primary purpose for which God gave the Scriptures, is to make a practical use of them — ordering the details of our lives by its rules and regulations.
"Your Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." Psalm 119:105. The metaphor used here is taken from a man walking along a dangerous road on a dark night, in urgent need of a lantern to show him where to walk safely and comfortably, to avoid injury and destruction.
God, in His infinite condescension and transcendent grace, has given us His Word for this very purpose, so that we need not stumble along blindly, ignorant of what pleases or displeases Him — but that we might know His mind. That divine Word is not given to us simply for information, but . . .
to regulate our conduct,
to enlighten our minds,
and to mold our hearts.
The Word supplies us with an unerring chart by which to steer through the dangerous sea of life. If we sincerely and diligently follow, it will deliver us from disastrous rocks and submerged reefs — and direct us safely to the heavenly harbor. That Word has all the instructions we need for every problem, and every trouble we may be called upon to face. That Word has been given to us "that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:17. How thankful we should be, that God has favored us with such a Word!
This world is a dark place, and it is only as we take heed to the Word, to the light God has given us, that we shall be able to perceive and avoid "the broad road which leads to destruction," and discern the narrow way which alone "leads unto eternal life."
Our first duty, and our first aim, must be to take up the Scriptures to ascertain what is God's revealed will for us — what are the paths He forbids us to walk, what are the ways pleasing in His sight.
The Scriptures are not given us, primarily, for our intellectual gratification, nor for emotional admiration, but for life's regulation. Nor are the precepts and commands, the warnings and encouragements contained therein, simply for our information. They are to be reduced to practice — they require unqualified obedience. He who treasures the divine precepts in his heart, and diligently seeks to walk by their rule, will escape those evils which destroy his fellows.
Thus the great business of the Christian is to regulate his life by, and conform his conduct to — the precepts of the written Word, and the example left us by the Incarnate Word. As he does so, and in proportion as he does so, he is
emancipated from the darkness of his natural mind,
freed from the follies of his corrupt heart,
delivered from the mad course of this world,
and escapes the snares of the devil.