Sharper Than Any Two-Edged Sword. That’s pretty sharp considering how there have been millions of this particular medieval weapon throughout the ages. What kind of weapon could make such a claim? The Bible makes this assertion.
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. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:12-16
The author of Hebrews makes some pretty astonishing claims about the word of God in this passage. The first one is that it is “living and active.” How can a dusty old book (I hope it’s not that dusty), be a living and active thing? Look, we aren’t just talking about the physical book you hold in your hand here. We are talking about the actual breath of God. The actual revealed word of our Lord. Though we have the hard copy, the words contained within are not merely man’s scribblings (2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is breathed out by God…”) but are direct revelation from the Lord Himself. This makes the Bible more than just a book. When I open up scripture I find that whatever I’m reading somehow affects me in my life right where I’m at. No other piece of literature has ever been able to do that. When you read the Word you are meeting God right where you are and believe me, He speaks! This makes it living and active; Because God is living and active!
The second claim is that it is, “sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit.” Ever hear the phrase “sticks and stone may break my bones, but words will never hurt me?” If you believe that you’re in for a real surprise. Words cut deeper than any physical weapon. That’s what we are talking about here. A thoughtful word can uplift someone in ways you have no idea would have ever impacted them and a seething remark can hurt someone’s feelings for a long time. These human examples are just a glimpse of what the word of God does. When the passage states, “it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart,” we begin to touch on the meaning of this powerful word. God is all-knowing, omniscient. He understands your deepest concerns and estimations. When you read the Bible you are meeting with God and He speaks to you in such a way that bypasses the hardened exterior of your thoughts. He maneuvers right past your hidden intentions and below the surface musings of your mind. He speaks directly to your heart. You feel the effect. It’s no wonder when we sin we have a hard time reading scripture. Its sharper than anything else because God’s word judges our intentions. There is no escape.
Since we are under such unavoidable scrutiny, many try to deny God and His word. They discredit the Bible. They spin false teachings and get caught up in humanly ways just to avoid the conviction. One day they will be judged. Nevertheless, for those of us in Christ Jesus there is hope! Hallelujah! Verse 15 to the end is the key. We have one who has paid the price for our sins and now sits as mediator and high priest before the almighty. One who is the almighty. He was tempted yet did not sin. So our response must be as follows. “let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Our time of need is now. Rather than running from the inevitable guilt brought on by God speaking to our loathsome hearts, we must run to the arms of our Savior. He has given us grace upon grace and all we must do is accept it. When the living word of God pierces and convicts us of sin, go in confidence before the throne in prayer and ask for forgiveness that you may receive mercy in your time of need.