Bible - Inspiration & Authority

The Word of God and the God of the Word

By Dr. Paul M. Elliott
The Word of God is what it is because the God of the Word is who He is.

From the TeachingtheWord Bible Knowledgebase

Part 7 of a series. Read part 6.

The Word of God is what it is because the God of the Word is who He is.

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.  (Hebrews 4:12-13)

Thus far in this series we have focused on several supernatural characteristics of the Word of God: It is alive. It is powerful. It is incisive. The only supernatural Book gets to the heart of man's true nature and true condition as nothing else can. God's Word communicates with the heart of man, by the power of the Holy Spirit, in a way that nothing else and no one else can. We find all of these things in Hebrews 4:12. This is the supernatural character of the Word of God.

God's Penetrating Gaze

But then in verse 13, the Holy Spirit speaks to us about the God of the Word. He speaks to us about His character. The Word of God is what it is because the God of the Word is who He is: "and there is no creature [no created thing] hidden from His sight." A very literal rendering of those words from the original Greek would read like this: "and there is no created thing that is not fully illuminated under the penetrating gaze of His knowledge and judgment."

And then the inspired writer goes on: "but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account." The word that is translated "open" here is the word from which we derive our English word trachea - the medical term for the throat. A very literal rendering of this verse would be that the penetrating gaze of God throws a man's head back and exposes his throat. The metaphor derives from the use of the same term in the sport of wrestling in Greek and Roman times. One wrestler would gain the advantage over the other by putting him in a hold whereby his head was thrown back, and his neck ad throat were exposed.

What About You?

Speaking spiritually and figuratively, what is being said here is that a man cannot clench his teeth and stiffen his neck, and thus hide his inward self from God. God gazes down into a man's innermost being and shines the light of His Word upon him. "All things are naked and open" to the eyes of God.

I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings. (Jeremiah 17:10)

I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works. (Revelation 2:23)

For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. (1 Corinthians 2:10)

All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirits. (Proverbs 16:2)

O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off.
You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.
You have hedged me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain it.
Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into Heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in Hell, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, "Surely the darkness shall fall on me," even the night shall be light about me; indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, but the night shines as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to You. (Psalm 139:1-12)

Dear reader, when God through His Word searches your heart, what does it reveal about you? Can you say this with the psalmist? -

Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (139:23-24)

Next: The Word and Our Witness


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