Why are those blessed, who hear and obey the Word of God?

(Francis Bourdillon, "Short Sermons for Family Reading" 1881)

"Blessed rather are those who hear the Word of God and obey it." Luke 11:28

The Word must be obeyed — as well as heard. We must not hear it carelessly. Nor must we be hearers only, forgetting it as soon as heard. We are to guard it and keep it — to treasure it in our hearts as a precious possession. We are to believe it and to follow it — then the full blessing will be ours.

Why are those blessed, who hear and obey the Word of God?

1. Because the Word of God tells us of the Savior, speaks pardon and peace, and opens to us God's wondrous way of saving sinners. This can be said of no other book, and no other thing. The works of God in nature tell us much — but they do not tell us this. Many books of man are written on these subjects — but they are but man's books after all.

2. They are blessed also, because the Word of God is a sure guide. It is a difficult path through the wilderness of this world. Many hindrances and perplexities meet us — and many different rules are offered for our guidance: fashion, custom, prudence, man's opinion, etc. But the Word of God is the only sure guide. A simple, humble, earnest following of this guide — is the wisest, happiest, safest course! The poorest and most unlearned who through grace take this course — have more security for going right than the greatest and wisest who follow any other path. Therefore they are blessed who hear and keep the word of God — because they have a sure guide through life.

3. The word of God also comforts in trouble, and therefore they are blessed who hear it and keep it. This world has its sorrows as well as its difficulties — sorrows many and great; but the word of God has comfort for all of life's sorrows. It is full of comfort. It has promises and declarations of God's love. It contains examples of mourners whom He has comforted — and these in great number and variety. There is no kind of trouble for which some suitable comfort may not be found in the Bible. In time of deep sorrow — a comfort and consolation are found in the Word of God which are sought in vain in other books. It is the best of all books for those in trouble.