“For 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. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”
– Hebrews 4:12-13
A few years ago, I had some serious health issues. I was diagnosed with something called diverticulitis. It’s an infection in your intestines that could potentially kill you if it causes your colon to tear. I went to a surgeon and he told me he needed to remove my sigmoid colon, or I could die.
I had a decision to make. Would I be willing to let someone take a knife, cut me open, and remove one of my vital organs?
Just as I needed to decide whether or not I trusted my surgeon enough to cut me open and remove what needed to be removed, we all must decide whether or not we trust God enough to cut us open with His Word.
The image in Hebrews 4:12-13 is that God is a spiritual surgeon, and His Word, the Bible, is His scalpel. He is calling us to trust Him to cut us open, remove what needs to be removed, add what needs to be added, replace what needs to be replaced, repair what is broken, heal what is sick, and to bring to life what is dead.
The word of God is alive and active. When you come to the Bible, you don’t just come to words on a page, you come to the living God, the Great Physician Himself. It is His personal voice. It is moving and is active in your life.
It is sharper than any double-edged sword. In this verse, the Greek word translated “sword,” is the word most often used for a surgical knife. Surgical knives in the first century were around seven inches in length and had two cutting edges, one at each end of the instrument. The surgeon held the knife in the middle, using either end of the knife according to what was needed. This is way that God uses His Word – as an instrument to perform surgery on our hearts.
It penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow. The Word of God pierces through all our protective outer layers. It dissects us. It exposes and radically strips our hearts of their hardened shell and exposes them.
It judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. It penetrates deep into the inner parts of our hearts and reveals what is really there. It gets right to the root of everything, discerning even the subtle distinctions between motivations and thoughts, between feelings and intentions.
Everything is uncovered and laid bare. Like a patient on an operating table, the Word of God stretches us out and lays us utterly naked before the eyes of our surgeon. It makes known what is hidden. There is nothing so deep in a person’s soul which cannot be drawn into the light as our Great Surgeon searches our hearts and examines us by His Word. When you come to the Bible, you don’t read it, IT READS YOU! Our Surgeon’s goal is to expose what is unhealthy, and to cure it, doing whatever is necessary to make us whole and sound.
Before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. God’s living and active word demands a word from us in response. When confronted with the voice of our Surgeon holding His scalpel, we must respond. We may either trust Him or reject Him. The choice is ours, and it is the choice between life and death.
What will our response be?
What will our response be? Will we put our lives into the hands of God? Will we hear His voice, subject ourselves to His care and obey Him like good patients? If we want to LIVE instead of DIE in any area of our lives, we place ourselves under the care of God’s Word.
If we want our relationships to survive and grow, we must bring our relationships under the surgical care of His Word! If we want to overcome bad habits or addictions, we must bring them under the care of His Word!
If we want to find our calling and purpose in life, we must bring our hopes and plans and dreams under the care of His Word! If we want more love, more joy and more peace in our lives, we must get under God’s care! We must trust God and obey Him!
Everything we need and long for is found under delicate, precise and loving surgical care of God’s personal Word! Let’s hear His voice through His scalpel and entrust ourselves to Him!