The power of God's Word
For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. No creature is hidden from him, but all things are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give an account. Hebrews 4:12-13 CSB
Now, to assess ourselves in our spiritual walk, the Word of God is our lamp, guiding us in our walk. The writer reminds the reader of the power of God’s Word, that it cannot be taken lightly. The Bible is not a collection of religious writings from the ancient past, but a book that speaks to all people everywhere in nearly all the languages of the world. The Bible demands a response, because God does not tolerate indifference and disobedience. The Word of God is alive! For example, Stephen, reciting Israel’s history in the desert, says that Moses at Mount Sinai “received living words” (Acts 7:38), and Peter tells the recipients of his first epistle that they “have been born again … through the living and enduring word of God” (1 Peter 1:23). We see that it is “living and effective,” meaning that God’s message is dynamic and can address our issues in our present day lives. “Living” also means that it is a catalyst for change, meaning that it causes us to take action when we delve into the Word. It is capable affecting every fiber of our being, “penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow.” God speaks through His Word, being able to bring to light what we hide in secret and should cause us to change, as “it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. No creature is hidden from Him.” God can see everything within us, “all things are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give an account.” Just as God’s spoken Word brought forth His beautiful creation, so His Word transforms a person who is dead in transgressions and sins (see Ephesians 2:1–5). As in the wilderness some Israelites refused to listen to God’s Word while others showed obedience, so today we see that “the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18). The Bible is not a dead letter, comparable to a law that is no longer enforced. Those people who choose to ignore the message of Scripture will experience not merely the power of God’s Word but its keen edge as well, “sharper than any double-edged sword.” Everything we do and think and say will be subject to judgment when we are in the presence of God. In light of this, may we cling to the Word of God, daily reading from it, applying what God wants us to learn about Him and what we need to change about ourselves. The Word is not a written document of past centuries. It is alive and current; it is powerful and effective; and it is undivided and unchanged. Written in times and cultures from which we are far removed, the Word of God nevertheless touches our lives today.
Isaac De Guzman