Friday, April 23, 2010

Sword of the Word

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12 NAS)

The Count of Monte Cristo In the novel The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, a story was told about three devious characters who conspired to have a young and successful merchant sailor, Edmond Dantès, imprisoned for many years. With a pen, one of the conspirators wrote an anonymous letter to the authorities accusing Edmond of being a Bonapartist traitor. As a result, Edmond was condemned to the Château d'If, a prison fortress on the island of If, which he managed to escape from only after 14 years. A quote which explains the events that took place in the story very well is found in the spoken words by one of the three conspirators, Caderousse, who said "I have always had more dread of a pen, a bottle of ink, and a sheet of paper, than of a sword or pistol."

As much as a pen is able to usurp influence and power greater than the sword in putting one into prison according to the novel’s story, a pen, when use for good, can also set one free. A good example of this is the written word of God. The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword which can pierce and divide souls and spirits, of both joints and marrow, and even judge thoughts and intentions of our hearts (Hebrews 4:12).

Jesus, when tempted by the devil before He began His ministry on earth, defended against the devil by using the Scriptures, the written word of God (Matthew 4:1-11). Similarly, if we study God's word to familiarize its content, we can also use the written word of God to put forth a defense.

The Bible teaches that the sword of the Spirit is the word of God (Ephesians 6:17). We should therefore equip ourselves with God's word, and with the shield of faith extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one (Ephesians 6:16). No physical sword is needed to defend ourselves against principalities and the darkness of this world because our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12). Only by being equipped with God's word can we be strong in the Lord to draw the strength of His might and put on the full armor in standing firm against the schemes of the devil (Ephesians 6:10-11).

Dear Lord, stir our hearts to desire to study Your word that we may stand firm and defend against the devil and his dark forces. We know O God that in Your word is the power to set free those imprisoned in sin and to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Help us Lord to use Your word diligently for good and not for evil, to judge ourselves in our thoughts and intents, and write within our hearts all that we learn from Your word, to remember them and to put them into practice.

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