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.

Hebrews 4:12 NLT


There’s a lot here. Let’s start with this: Have you ever felt like The Bible is kind of outdated? Like it’s irrelevant today? Paul is pretty clear in this verse – the word of God is alive and active. It was active then. It’s active today. It is not a text that “dies.” As Isaiah 40:8 says, “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of God stands forever.” It will always be the truth. It stands forever. 

Great, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way…

What exactly does Paul mean when he says the word of God is “sharper than any double-edged sword?” Well I’m imagining that a double-edged sword is probably pretty sharp. It “penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow” .. that’s pretty sharp. This means that one of the things God’s word is supposed to do is penetrate very deep.  like a double edged sword through tough layers. Next Paul says God’s word “judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Judge does not mean “condemn” here, it means “assess.” Scripture penetrates to the deepest places of our hearts  and assesses what’s there. Is it good or bad? 

What’s the purpose here?

God’s purpose in cutting to the innermost parts of our hearts is to bring us healing, not to leave us wounded. Sin left untreated in our hearts will be fatal. If we aren’t convicted by scripture, how will we know where we need to be changed? Listen as you read scripture today. What are you feeling? Is God highlighting sin that needs to be changed?