Bible Society of South Africa

Old-fashioned and out of style? - 13 October 2023

By Imogen Campbell

Bible text(s)

160The heart of your law is truth,

and all your righteous judgements are eternal.

Psalms 119:160GNBOpen in Bible reader

Every now and then, one comes across someone who is literally a cut above the rest. It is in the way that they carry themselves; the way they move – they possess that innate, elusive quality: style.

Yves Saint Laurent, the renowned fashion designer once remarked, “Fashion fades, style is eternal.” I believe he was on to something.

“The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” (Isaiah 40:8) I have heard some mumble that the Bible is old-fashioned, its teachings out of style. Not much value is placed on the words of the men of old, besides, how patriarchal wasn’t that anyway? Definitely out of style in today’s modern world. Right?

I have been around long enough to have learnt that fashion is fickle and design trends come and go. Remember the plastic Swatch watch so popular in its heyday? Today, people online wonder whether it is still worth the investment. Nobody would even dare raise that question about a Rolex timepiece – its timeless quality certainly not up for dispute.

In the same way, the Bible has distinguished itself. In the Book of Psalms, King David extols it as more precious than gold. I won’t lie; living by the Word comes at a price: one’s very life is required – and sometimes painful alienation from the ones you love. Yet, those who choose to embrace its teachings have a way of standing out in this world. It is in the way they talk, move and glorify God.

Perhaps, laying down one’s life for the sake of the bedrock of life that is the Gospel and a place with the Lord for eternity, is too high a price for some to pay. It really is much easier to settle for the latest fads and trends. The Devil is also all too willing to hand us cheap knockoffs of the original.

But the Bible never goes out of style: the enduring Book, a perennial best seller, continues to stand the test of time. Time and again, its precepts have proven to be trustworthy and true – its teachings, evergreen. Psalm 119:160 puts it this way: “All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal.”

Its ageless wisdom remains a compass leading believers to eternity. It certainly cuts to the chase and makes no bones about the truth. The foolhardy lives of those who have chosen to reject it are often punctuated by the pain and rollercoaster sting of sinfulness.

As for staking eternity on it, absolutely worth it! Stylish? Always.

Prayer: Lord, we pray to revere the Word of God as trustworthy and true, while making every effort to obey its precepts. Help us to shine the light into a world that desperately needs the truth of your Word. Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.18.8
Find us on