The Word of God says it is like a fire, a hammer and a lamp. Today we continue seeing what the Bible says …
4) The Bible is like a sword. It is interesting to see a butcher ply his trade. When I want to purchase lamb chops I go to a butcher on the road to Cullinan. It is in a “plot / smallholdings area” and services a wide region. Apart from good, fresh meat, I go there because the butcher / block man really knows his trade. There are times he uses an electric band saw, but his skill with his carving knife is amazing. It’s entertaining to watch how quickly and accurately he uses that sharp knife.
Heb 4:12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
The word for “double-edged sword” could mean a surgeon’s knife or a priest’s knife. Contextually it would most likely be a priest’s knife. This doubled edged knife would have a dual function … to slaughter the animal brought as a sacrifice and to butcher the animal … that is to carve up the carcass into sizeable chunks for the boiling pot. Because it was two edged it could be used both ways … up and down or left to right. The Word (Bible) could be used in the context of the written Word or as Jesus, the Word. Commentators disagree extensively though those I favour and agree with verse 12 referring to the written Word and verse 13 to Jesus, the logos of God. (a) The function of the written Word. “…living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Being “living and active”, the Word has life in itself and it produces life in its users! The concept of life causes one to think energy. The Word is energetic. It is working all the time. You cannot separate God’s Word from God … and as God is always at work, so is His Word. As an example:
Heb 1:3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.
His Word is always working. It is always working in the hearts of believers to encourage, challenge, rebuke, correct … and in the lost … to condemn as it exposes sin. Look at its penetrating power … “even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow”. The “even to” tells us this is not literal but figurative. The writer wants us to know the variety of the Word’s functionality and reach … to the point that it judges or scrutinizers accurately. For a surgeon to determine the extent of say …the cancer, he would need to cut deep to understand the spread and seriousness of the problem. Such is God’s Word … cutting deep so that the Spiritual Surgeon might hit the root of the problem (sin). The penetration gets to the heart and mind to grasp its condition. It analyses intentional sin and accidental sin. It sees whether the sin is repetitive and plenty or now and then. Is it willful or unintended? For this very Word acting as Judge … “judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart”. This is where scrutiny comes in. Part of the Word’s analysis of the individual is to determine the thought pattern and exactly what is harbored in the heart. You see, the judicial function of the Word of God is to see whether there is hypocrisy, willfulness, an evil bent, a bias to return to sin … or whether the individual’s intent is holiness and Christlikeness. To what extent does the sinful nature still wars … causing the person to slip and fall to temptation often or now and then. The Word is living and active … it is energetic! (b) The function of Jesus as the Word.
Heb 4:13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
I want to suggest that verse 13 is present, continuous and only stops at the Judgment Seat! Because the Word of God exposes everything about us to God … with nothing, not even the smallest sin hidden … the sin list of one’s life’s activities is impressive on the negative side. Who can stand before a Judge who knows everything about you from birth to death … and all intentional sins have been carefully scrutinized by the written Word so that the Word acts as the prosecuting counsel … who can stand to defend him or herself? Thomas Hewitt gives two illustrations in his commentary on this verse. (1) The picture of a wrestler’s grip on another’s neck. The gripped wrestler is at the mercy of the other implying as sinners we hide our heads in shame before God because of guilt. (2) The picture of a priest having an animal in a sacrificial grip on the neck exposing the throat for the “double edged sword” … implying no one can hide from the all-searching eyes of God. Throughout life the sinner and the saint will experience the Word of God, Jesus, judging sin and rebelliousness … yet on the final day … the Day of Reckoning we will have reached the point of no return. Those not covered in the Blood of the Lamb will be shattered … but then it’s far too late! (c) The Word as written or Jesus as the Word of God always accomplishes God’s Sovereign purpose.
Isa 55:10 “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, 11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
Rain and snow have a purpose. God sends them and they fulfil His intention … so too the Word in its written form or as Jesus the logos. The written Word convicts and leads to salvation. Jesus, the Word come to make propitiation for our sins possible. He was victorious. The Bible as the Sword of God always achieves its intended purpose. Has the Sword of God pierced your heart leading you to salvation? The clock is ticking!
Thank You Lord that Your Word is like a Piercing Sword convicting, convincing and causing salvation. Amen.