For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 (NASB)
In recent days I have been focussed on this one verse, which I have always accepted at face value and moved on quickly. But I felt the need to dive deeper into this well known verse, to find encouragement in these difficult days. I speak both personally and generally of recent difficulties. For this study I used a new idea to me called “Verse Mapping” which basically is mindmapping a scripture verse. You can find a more indepth description of this study method here. It has been a very fruitful study, some of which I share today.
When faced with the phrase “the word of God” we automatically think of the Bible, but this verse reaches further than what we read. Based on John 1:1 we could read this verse in reference to our Lord and Saviour. John Gill in his commentary states “Christ is the Word of God and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” In scripture we encounter the spoken Word of God, both by the Almighty and His Son with great effect (Deut. 4:12, Luke 7:7). The voice of God is not a gentle tone. It is likened to fire, a mighty hammer and thunder (Jer.23:29, Ex.19:19). It is a terrifying sound to mortal men (Ex. 20:19) not just by it’s might but by the conviction of sin as we stand before our Holy Creator. We should be grateful that we do not encounter the terror of the audible voice of God today!
Dear reader, as we study this verse let us not lose sight of the many voices of Almighty God’s Word. It is not just mere print on paper. Whether spoken (by Father or Son) or in scripture it is ordained by His Will to draw us close to Him. The words of Albert Barnes in his commentary offer us sound advice: “we cannot escape the notice of God; and that since our hearts are perfectly open before Him, we should be sincere and should not attempt to deceive Him.”