The modern hymn “O Church Arise,” calls to us: “O church, arise, and put your armor on; / Hear the call of Christ our captain. / For now the weak can say that they are strong / In the strength that God has given.“ It continues, “And with the sword that makes the wounded whole, / We will fight with faith and valor.”
The “sword that makes the wounded whole” is God’s Word. In today’s verses, we learn that the Word is “alive,” “active,” and extremely sharp (v. 12). “Alive” means full of life or life-giving, which makes sense since the Author is eternal and the source of all life. “Active” means dynamic as God’s Word works to accomplish His purposes.
“Sharpness” is a complex metaphor. God’s Word is described as a “double-edged sword.” This type of sword was short, more like a dagger. One commentator even compares it to a razor-sharp butcher’s knife, which explains how it can divide “soul and spirit, joints and marrow.” It was an emblem of judges and magistrates in the Roman Empire and thus symbolized truth and justice as well. Its piercing or penetrating qualities suggest truth and accuracy; “it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” If God’s Word has ever brought you under conviction of sin, then you understand this metaphor very well.
The Word of God is like God Himself: “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” (v. 13). As one study Bible observes: The writer “associates the activity of the [W]ord with the activity of God, as though they are one and the same—which in a sense they are.”
>> Today’s verses are worth committing to memory. If you haven’t already done so, we suggest you spend the next few days memorizing these two important verses.
We love You and know You love us, and so we willingly submit to the sword of Your Word. Pierce and teach us with cleansing truth. Your holy conviction brings us into repentance. Repentance draws us closer to You.