The word “precious” is typically used in reference to things that are highly cherished or dear to us. We consider things of great value or rarity as being “precious.” For example, gold and silver are considered “precious” metals because they are relatively rare. Rare stones; like diamonds, rubies, etc.; are called “precious gems” and carry a much higher price than more common stones. So, the word “precious” typically refers to things that have one, or both, of these characteristics – i.e. cherished and/or rare.
When we think about the word of God, both of these characteristics apply. The word of God is both something we should highly cherish and is extraordinarily rare.
Concerning the rarity of God’s word, we are not talking about the Bible as a rare book. That certainly could not be said of the Bible. It has been the top selling book, in its various translations, worldwide from the time that book sales have been recorded. I recently read another somewhat surprising fact about the Bible. It is not only the top selling book every year, it is also the most stolen book every year. Ironic, right? The Bible is more prevalent worldwide than any other book in print. So, how would the word “precious” apply to God’s word in the sense of rarity? In that the Bible is the one and only book in which the word of God is to be found. Of all the millions and millions of books that have been written and published, there is only one that contains the true word of God. It has been estimated that there have been 130 million books published in modern history. Consider how valuable the stone would be that was only found every 1 in 130 million stones. One State Park that features panning for diamonds reports that the odds of a visitor finding a diamond is 1 in 253. Next time you’re at the mall stop in the jewelry store and price some small diamonds then compare that to the price of a Bible at the book store. But, if there were just one copy of every book in print today, you would have a 1 in 130 million chance of finding the word of God.
1 Samuel 3:1 says, “And the child Samuel ministered unto Jehovah before Eli. And the word of Jehovah was precious in those days; there was no frequent vision” (ASV). The New King James and other modern translations say that the “word of the LORD was rare in those days.” The reason it was “rare,” or “precious,” was because there were no prophets of God openly declaring God’s word. It was “rare” to hear God’s word being proclaimed! It is true that the Bible is the only true source of God’s word today. But there is no reason why the word of God should be “rare” to us. We are blessed to have ready availability to God’s word about whenever and wherever we want it. We can read it on our phone while we’re waiting in line at the grocery store if we want to.
So, the word of God is “rare” in the sense that it is only found in one – and only one – book, the Bible. But, it is certainly not “rare” for us in the sense of availability. If the word of God is not being proclaimed in our lives today it is because we don’t want it, it is because we have chosen to reject it. Don’t let the word of God be “rare” to you in that sense!
If the word of God is “precious” to us in the sense of being cherished and highly esteemed in our lives, then it certainly will not be “precious” to us as being rarely heard. And it should be something we hold dear and consider “precious.” The biblical writers refer to the Bible, God’s word, as something that is wonderful and to be highly prized. Look at how God is praised for His word in just one Psalm, Psalm 119. The word of God is “sweeter than honey” (Ps. 119:103). It contains “wondrous things” (Ps. 119:18). The Psalmist says that he loves the word of God with all his heart (Ps. 119:97). It is to be our meditation all day and night (Ps. 119:97). It should be more precious to us than gold (Ps. 119:127).
Is the word of God “precious” in your life, in the sense of being rare and not to be found? I pray such is not the case! If you’re not a daily Bible reader than you are missing out on a great source of knowledge, strength, comfort, joy, and hope. I would love to send you a daily reading schedule for 2017, if you don’t already have one. It’s yours for the asking.