“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.” Hebrews 4:12
Read this verse over and over. What is God whispering to you?
This morning God is reminding me that He knows everything. In some respects, this is comforting and in others it is disheartening. The question often comes up if God knows, why would He allow bad things to happen. Thus, our verse comes to us.
Our verse is often used as a justification for finger waging. Christians use this to justify condemning people. So, why is this verse used now when our theme has been about love? I think it is because God is calling us deeper. As we dig into our verse we see that the word used for double-edged sword is a word used to describe a sword of battle, but if we include the words around this verse we see the context isn’t talking about us going to battle with others. It is about God going to battle with sin.
You see the Greek word used for “word” is logos. It is the same word used by John to describe Jesus. It can be translated as the divine expression. So, the divine expression of God is living and active. In other words, the Word of God isn’t just spoken or written down. It is constantly working. It penetrates deep within us to the point of dividing soul and spirit, judging the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Can you correctly judge someone’s thoughts and attitude of the heart? We don’t have that ability. We can’t read minds, but God can.
So, if God knows our hearts and minds why does He allow bad things to happen? Because He loves us. This is hard to comprehend especially in todays society where we do our best to shield our children from anything that might upset them. Giving them all they could ever desire. What is the result of a child being given everything they want, never being told no? You don’t have to look very far to see these spoiled kids now expecting everyone to bow to their will. If sin is doing our own will why would God allow us to have everything go our way?
With a world full of people obsessed with fulfilling their every desire it is a wonder that things aren’t worse than they are. God allows the consequences of sin to play out so that we can learn from our mistakes. God allows bad things to happen so that we will look for answers, so that we will seek help. Our job as Christians is not to force people to be good but pick up the pieces when their sin breaks them apart.
God’s word will cause us to realize our sin. The natural consequences of sin will make us fall. In either case we need to be there to reveal the Savior. People who are convicted or broken don’t need more breaking, they need to be built up. They need to be shown love. They need to be shown a better way to live. That is the purpose of God’s word. It will convict us, but it will also heal us. Don’t use it to attack but to love.
I will confess that I am guilty of using God’s word for selfish reasons. I have used it to put people down so that I look better than them. I have used it for my own gain. I have used it to judge others. But God has used it to change me. God has used it to separate my sin so that I can see it.
Despite what we think, God is love. Even when we are convicted, even when sin catches up to us, even if we are caught up in the awful things that seem to happen to innocent people. God so loved us that He saves us from ourselves. He saves us from our sin. He paid the price to set us free so that we can freely love Him and others. God knows your heart and He knows what each of us need to change our hearts for Him. Turn to Him, allow His Word to penetrate and free us from our own desires. Then allow God’s love to flow through you.