Have you ever heard a comforting book of fiction or poetry described as being like a hammer? It doesn’t happen! Then come before the Word of God and you’ll discover what the prophet Jeremiah meant: ‘”Is not my word like fire,” declares the Lord, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?’ – Jeremiah 23:29. Christians regard the Bible as the authoritative Word of the Living God full of Absolute Truth – if they are wrong, the Bible is ‘absolutely irrelevant’ and people should revert to living based on their ‘relative suppositions’. Presidents, Royalty, scientists, brilliant legal minds and ordinary people have been convinced that it is God’s Word for life – how about you?
• ‘Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face’ – Ronald Reagan
• ‘To what greater inspiration and counsel can we turn than to the imperishable truth to be found in this treasure house, the Bible?’ – Queen Elizabeth II
• ‘But for this book we could not know right from wrong. I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given to man’ ― Abraham Lincoln
• ‘The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly’ ― Søren Kierkegaard
Likening the Bible to a hammer and fire indicates the uncompromising power within God’s Word. Written over 1500 years by more than 30 people, it contains God’s central message of love and hope for people he has made for relationship with him. Within this, there is poetry, history, music, prophecy, dance, gospel, drama, parable, letters and the most profound life of Jesus Christ, the Alpha and the Omega.
Whether you read in the Old Testament or the New Testament, you meet the Living Word and come under his searching gaze:
• ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it’ – John 1:1-5
• ‘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
• ‘All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work’ – 2 Timothy 3:16-17
• ‘Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path’ – Psalm 119:105
• ‘How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth’ – Psalm 119:103
No wonder that we find the pictures of honey and light to be comfortable, whereas that of a sword and hammer are somewhat frightening. It all depends though on the motive of the one holding the sharp knife or the hammer – if it is a skilled surgeon about to excise cancer, then we are grateful. If the hammer comes precisely to crack a hard nut or break a way through, we can also be thankful. God does not bludgeon us randomly but brings his life-word to us with precision for our good.
• ‘It ain’t the parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it’s the parts that I do understand’ ― Mark Twain
• ‘The primary purpose of reading the Bible is not to know the Bible but to know God’ ― James Merritt
• ‘You Christians look after a document containing enough dynamite to blow all civilisation to pieces, turn the world upside down and bring peace to a battle-torn planet. But you treat it as though it is nothing more than a piece of literature’ ― Mahatma Gandhi
Take time to live in the Living Word so his words can live in and through you. Yes indeed, the Bible is more than the finest piece of literature, it is God’s personal letter full of love and power to bless you throughout life's journey.
TAGS – life, alive, Bible, truth, light, hope