1 Samuel 12:1-4

Living word

According to Hebrews 4:12, “the word of God is alive 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.” The “word of God” here is the written or spoken Word, not the Logos of John 1. The ESV says that the Bible is “living” and active.

The description of the Bible as “living” means that it has a vital power inherent to itself. The written Word of God accomplishes God’s purposes (Isaiah 55:11); the preaching of the Holy Scriptures brings about God’s desired effects. The Bible is unlike other books, whatever emotional or social effects they may produce, in that it brings about lasting, supernatural change within a person. “Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ” (Romans 10:17)

We see the living Word of God in action every time a sinner repents and turns to Christ for eternal life. The believer’s changed life bears testimony to the living, active power of the Bible. Commentator Matthew Henry wrote of the Bible that it “convinces powerfully, converts powerfully, and comforts powerfully. It makes a soul that has long been proud, to be humble; and a perverse spirit, to be meek and obedient. Sinful habits, that have become as it were natural to the soul, and rooted deeply in it, are separated and cut off by this sword. It will discover to men their thoughts and purposes, the vileness of many, the bad principles they are moved by, the sinful ends they act to” (Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible, Hebrews 4:11–16).

Life is fickle beloved, and it behoves us that we should place much effort into fulfilling our God given assignments on earth. You can be taken any time. In fact this very minute, death is knocking on some ones door. I remember a how my friend was taken. At around 1800, we were playing together, hustling for just a few more bucks. We separated and went to our respective homes at 1900. At 1920 I received a phone call that he was dead. A victim of a freak accident involving a train and the vehicle he was driving. As I recall the upheaval of emotion that followed I know we were all of one thought; life is indeed like the dew in the morning. It blossoms for a while but can be snuffed out any time.

The living Word is active in the lives of those who receive it. According to the psalmist, the person who meditates on and delights in the Word will be “like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither” (Psalm 1:2–3). The Scriptures today are often downplayed in favor of manmade philosophies, personal experiences, or a “new” word from God. But the Bible cannot be ignored as if it were dead or obsolete. The Word of God is still powerful and very much alive. “We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:19).

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