To the Law and to the Testimony
“To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:20
For clarity on this passage, read the entire chapter. In short, God tells Isaiah to warn both houses of Israel of their approaching captivity due entirely to their rejection of God and His word. Notice that God says, “If they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Since God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5), the statement means they do not have God! This was the downfall of Israel, and it is presently the downfall of all who reject God and His word. Jesus said, “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” (John 12:48) His words came from God the Father (Hebrews 1:1-2), and therefore to reject Jesus is to reject God!
Fred Dennis, one of my many mentors, would quote Isaiah 8:20 at the beginning of his sermons. He was reminding his audience of the importance of not only HEARING God’s word but ACCEPTING it by OBEYING it. The “law” is one thing; the “testimony” of it is another! The “law” is the directive given, i.e., the “order; rule.” The “testimony” is the attestation of that law, i.e., the verification of truth. Thus, brother Dennis was saying, “We going to look at God’s law and proclaim its truth.” Precisely what every proclaimer of God’s word must do!
I muse on the importance of such a statement. Were mankind to seek God’s law in all that they say and do, and then proclaim the truth of that law, imagine what a righteous world we would enjoy! But as with Israel, most reject God, and His word. However, in the Lord’s church, those who DILIGENTLY seek Him, and let His word dwell in them richly in all wisdom (Colossians 3:16), righteousness does prevail! These souls “prove all things and hold fast that which is good.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21) These souls speak the things that become (beautify) sound doctrine. (Titus 2:1) Faithful ones seek no other counsel and are guided by no other law. May it be that we Christians consistently find ourselves adhering “to the law and to the testimony.”