“For the word of God is quick [living], and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
Today’s verse passage is a powerful reminder of the awesome, limitless power of God’s word. “By the word of the LORD were the heavens made,”wrote the psalmist, “and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth . . . For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast” (Psalm 33:6,9). God’s word not only has awesome, unfathomable creative power (Genesis 1; Jeremiah 10:12; 2 Peter 3:5), but sustaining power as well. In Christ, the Divine Word Himself, all things are held in existence (Colossians 1:17). He Who is the very brightness of God’s glory, and the express image of his person, is even now upholding all things by the word of his power (Hebrews 1:3). How marvelous it is to know that God chose to inscripturate that powerful word for our instruction, edification, correction and encouragement (Psalm 19:7-11; Romans 15:4). His word converts the soul and makes wise the simple (Psalms 19:4). Like the water-filled laver that stood outside the Tabernacle/Temple, the word of God is a mirror that reveals and reflects our flaws and imperfections. It is, as today’s text reminds us, “a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Happily, the word also reveals the blessed solution, the needed cleansing agent to wash away our sin and imperfection. The word itself is used by our Lord Who loved us first (1 John 4:19) to sanctify and cleanse those who believe (Ephesians 5:26). This is so because the word testifies to Jesus Himself (John 5:39; Revelation 19:10), directing us to Him in Whom we are made acceptable (Ephesians 1:6) and complete (Colossians 2:10). Just as the spoken word of the Lord raised and restored those who were dead physically (Mark 5:41-42; Luke 7:14-15; John 11:43-44), the same word regenerates and restores the spiritually dead to newness of life. We who have trusted in the Christ revealed in the Bible have been “born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever” (1 Peter 1:23). The half-brother to the Lord Jesus reminds us that of [“God’s] own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures” (James 1:18). Calling us His “first-fruits” indicates that more like ourselves are to come in the future. The mystery is that God would choose to include us, fragile “earthen vessels” (2 Corinthians 4:7) to accomplish this great work upon the earth (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8). Our “secret weapon” in this is the word of God itself, living and powerful, which slashes through darkness and deception and sets men free (John 8:32-36). May this devotional cause us to open the Scriptures with renewed interest and enthusiasm today, for God’s glory and the good of His people. Amen!