Psalm 119:90–91 (ESV) … “Your faithfulness endures to all generations; you have established the earth, and it stands fast. By your appointment they stand this day, for all things are your servants.”
“For ever, O Lord, Thy word is settled in heaven.” It is beyond the reach of man. No person, however clever, confident, or confused, will permanently change God’s Word. Foolish is anyone who tampers with God’s Word. Foolish is the one who tries to get rid of God’s Word. As has been said, Diocletian harnessed the resources of the Roman empire to stamp out the Bible; he might as well have tried to stop the blowing of the wind. Voltaire held up a copy of the Bible and said, “In fifty years I’ll have this book in the morgue.” In fifty years he was in the morgue and the Geneva Bible Society owned his house and used it as a place to store Bibles.
God’s Word is settled in heaven. The galaxies will pass away, but God’s Word will remain, far beyond the reach of all its foes, forever settled in Heaven.
The psalmist tells us that God’s Word is settled also:
He says, “Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: Thou hast established the earth, and it abideth.” The psalmist turns back to Scripture’s first page. “There,” he says, “read it for yourself.” God’s Word established the earth.
On the first day of creation God established the laws of light. He ordained that light should travel at 186,000 miles per second, that it should dispel darkness, that its speed should be one of the constants of our universe—so that thousands of years later a Jewish scientist, reading in nature’s vast book, could introduce the atomic age with an equation containing the speed of light. “E = MC2” he concluded. “Energy equals mass multiplied by the speed of light squared.”
On the second day of creation God established the form of the firmament, separating the waters from the waters and setting in motion all those vast forces of evaporation and condensation which renew and replenish the earth.
On the third day of creation God established the lay of the land, separating the oceans from the continents and ordaining the depths and bounds of the sea.
On the fourth day of creation, God established the service of the sun, ordaining the sun to rule the day and the moon to rule the night, ensuring the regular round of the seasons and giving humankind a celestial timepiece to measure the passing of days and months and years.
On the fifth day of creation God established the fish and the fowl in the sea and the sky and set in order the laws of their being.
On the sixth day of creation God established life and lordship on this planet, making all forms of animal life and crowning man monarch of all he surveyed.
Thus it has been, from that day to this, sunshine and shadow, seedtime and harvest, summer and winter. And everywhere, to earth’s remotest bounds, to the outer edges of the universe, God has established His Word. Everywhere there is evidence of law. All modern science is predicated on the fact that the laws of nature do not change. “Thou hast established the earth and it abideth.” The laws of light and electricity, of heat and sound, of magnetism and gravity, of chemistry and physics, of biology and mathematics—all are established by the Word of God. And such is the power of that word that the entire established order of nature sprang into being in response to ten commandments. Ten times we read in Genesis, “And God said.”
God’s Word, settled in heaven, settled on earth, is settling to my soul. Its permanence gives us something solid on which to rest our faith.
“They continue this day according to Thine ordinance, for all are Thy servants.” People speak of the “laws of nature” and of “providence.” The Bible speaks of God. Such expressions as “nature” and “providence” are depersonalized synonyms for God, used to avoid having to acknowledge God as the author and sustainer of the universe. Behind the vast fabric of nature and its laws is God.
The psalmist observed that the laws established by God in creation still stood unchanged. The same is true today. When we put a kettle on the stove to heat water we don’t expect a few minutes later to get a block of ice. If we drop a lead weight we don’t expect it to fly off into the sky.
Kettles and weights are His servants. Even the exceptions prove the rule. When Jonah ran away from God, God simply summoned His servants, the wind and the whale, and sent them to arrest the disobedient prophet. When Pharaoh dug in his heels and defied the living God, He directed Moses to summon frogs and flies, locusts and lice, blood and boils, and thus lay Egypt in the dust.
When the Lord Jesus stilled the storm the disciples said, “What manner of Man is This, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?” (Mark 4:41). Of course they did. They had been obeying Him ever since they were made.
So then, the psalmist sings about the permanence of God’s Word. It is a source of comfort to him to know that he has invested his faith in a “bank that can never fail.” God’s faithfulness is to all generations, as changeless as His Word. Everything was settled in heaven before God ever put it into writing.