Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne"1 (Lyrics)
I have been fascinated with archaeology ever since I was young, immersed in our family's National Geographic magazines and books. I spent many hours looking at the finds in Egypt and South America. In recent years, I have enjoyed watching episodes of Time Team and Digging for Britain, as archeologists visit new and existing historical sites. Often, Roman artifacts are unearthed, including weapons. One such armament is the gladius, the short sword of the Roman foot soldier. Forged from high carbon steel, it held sharp edges, and was used in close combat, particularly by soldiers protected by the phalanx, the Roman shield wall, where the sword could be thrust through the breaks between the shields to fend off attackers. The sight of a Roman soldier carrying a gladius would have been a common occurrence for those of the early church.
Hebrews 4:12-13 – For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. (NKJV)
The writer to the Hebrew Christians saw them losing their faith in the Lord Jesus, ready to follow in the steps of the children of Israel in ancient times, who disobeyed God and lost faith in Him. The writer sought to pierce their hearts and to show that they couldn't hide the truth from God if they gave up on Jesus.
God's Word is not only a historical record of facts and deeds, to be studied and measured. The Word of God is described as the sword of the Holy Spirit, a powerful, sharp weapon with no dull edges, alive in all of its parts, able to cut through to the conscience of its hearers, and to penetrate their hearts. God's revelation is able to open the heart with a surgeon's precise skill, to discern its spiritual health. Jesus said, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed" (John 8:31b NKJV), and Paul wrote, "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17 NKJV) The writer of Hebrews entreats us to turn from discouragement and unbelief by immersing ourselves in God's Word, alive and present, sharper than any sword ever forged, full of mystery, but merciful.
Today, if we find ourselves drifting from an eager, refreshing faith in God, let us turn to His living Word and find His Holy Spirit active and able to work in our lives. Let's allow the God-breathed Word to teach, inspire, and train us in righteousness.
Prayer: We praise You, great Lord, for Your living and active Word, which has pierced our hearts and souls, showing us how much we need You in our lives. Grant that we would have a keen perception and understanding of all that You have to say to us through Your holy Word today. Amen.