“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
2 Timothy 3:16-18 (NIV)
Who were the authors of the books of the Bible? Kings, prophets, shepherds, fishermen, doctors, prisoners—people from all walks of life. For most books, authorship is clear, for others it is not. But what we do know is that each writer was inspired by God to write what he wrote. Every thought, every story, every poem, song and prophecy was God-breathed—whispered by God into the hearts and minds of the authors. As such, the writings were seen by the early church as sacred, authoritative, unchangeable…the very words and thoughts of God. This is still true today.
There is no statute of limitations on the power and effectiveness of God’s word. While children may chant, Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me, we know the contrary to be true: words can hurt. The author James likens the tongue to a fire that can corrupt and destroy (James 3:1-12). But words can also encourage, comfort, and correct. A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver, Proverbs 25:11 says, so choose your words wisely. And if our words carry power to tear down and build up, how much more powerful is God’s word? God spoke our very existence into being (Genesis 1)!
Scripture calls the word of God living and active, sharper than a double-edge sword, able to penetrate and separate soul and spirit, joints and marrow (Hebrews 4:12). In other words, it pierces and changes our very core. King Solomon, when teaching his young son, exhorts him to pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight; keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body.
As surely as God’s spoken word created the universe, so His written word continues to work actively in our lives today.
Father, I find it a bit mind boggling that words hold so much power, but they really do. Help me to choose my words carefully that they might be life-giving, not weapons of destruction. Thank you that your Word, both spoken and written is alive and active and powerful and will not return to you having accomplished nothing, but will do what you set out for it to do.