Wednesday, March 1, 2017

HEBREWS 4:12-13

"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 intention of the heart.
There is no creature hidden from His sight,
but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him
with whom we have to do."

Boy howdie!  These are some spine tingling verses, but some of my favorites! It's kinda like your mother saying, "Don't run with scissors!" and your mind going to that what-might-happen place.    Or don't play with knives, and you're certain what the painful results would be, and there would be no denying when you need your mom to bring the bandaids.  Yeah, they are those kind of verses.  

I just came across a news report on fb which detailed how a person can find your location, even your  child's bedroom, school, or the playground just from a picture posted on your phone.  Hmm.  You have to go to the settings on your phone to restrict the locations setting so that this automatic ap won't allow it.   If you need directions or a map, you can temporarily bring it back, then disable it again.  Your phone is a GPS system.  But even with this "smart" phone, it can't judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart or pierce the division of soul and spirit.  It can only go so far.

God doesn't need GPS.  He is all-knowing, all-seeing, all-present.  His interaction with us is through His word which is living and active.  Let's go back to Eden.  God's word was not to be messed with, not doubted, but they did.  When Adam and Eve had their eyes open, they realized they were naked.  What did they do?  They hid.  Can we hide from God?  Obviously not.  The King James version of open and laid bare is "but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do."

Andrew Murray says, "The first action of God's word is to wound, to cut, to divide.  In the soul the natural life has its seat; in the spirit the spiritual and divine.  Sin has brought confusion and disorder; the spirit is under the mastery of the soul, the natural life.  God's word...wakens the spirit to a sense of its destiny as the faculty for the unseen and eternal; brings the soul to a knowledge of itself as a captive to the power of sin.  It cuts deep and sure, discovering the deep corruption of sin.  As the knife of the surgeon, who seeks to heal, pierces even to the dividing of joints and marrow, where it is needed, so the word penetrates all; there is no part of the inner being it does not pass.

When we fled and left our house during the recent evacuation, we did not even take the time to lock our door.  Oops.  However, in our absence someone came in and slept in our house.  Were we upset?  No.  It was our son-in-law who remained behind because he was a fireman, a first responder, a swift water rescue team member.  He came to rest here because our house is closer to the fire station than his house.  We left it open.  Did we care?  No.  Did we have anything to hide? No.  We were honored.  We were laid bare, but were gratified that he felt welcome to come in and make himself at home when he was weary from long hours on duty.  

Are we able to allow God into our hearts?  He can see into it anyway.  Reuben Welch calls it, "living with the roof off."  God can even pierce those hardened hearts.  There is no getting away from Him with whom we have to do.  Scripture also tells us in Numbers 32:23, "Be sure your sin will find you out.  It's like Genesis 4:10 says after Cain kills his brother Able, "What have you done?  The voice of your brother's blood is crying to Me from the ground."  Then in Noah's time it says in Genesis 6:5, "Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."  So we see that it has been so from the very beginning.

Isaiah 55:11 says,  "So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth;  It will not return to Me empty (void), Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it."  The sword is not reckless.  It has a purpose.  It slices us open so that the word of God can come in, to bring conviction, to bring repentance, to bring cleansing and purifying, to make us a place for God to live in us as we are sanctified, set apart for His own use.

Adam Clarke says, "The word of God penetrates deeper into a man than any sword; it enters into the soul and spirit, into all our sensations, passions, appetites, nay, to our very thoughts; and sits as judge of the most secret intentions, contrivances, and sentiments of the heart. 

"Piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit"

Adam Clarke goes on to say, "When the soul is thus distinguished from the spirit, by the former is meant that inferior faculty by which we think of and desire what concerns our present being and welfare.  By spirit is meant a superior power by which we prefer future things to present, by which we are directed to pursue truth and right above all things, and even to despise what is agreeable to our present state, if it stand in competition with, or is prejudicial to, our future happiness....It can divide joints and divide the marrow; i.e. enter irresistibly into the soul, and produce some sentiment which perhaps it would not willingly have received; and sometimes discover and punish secret, as well as open wickedness."

"Mr. Wesley's note on this verse is expressed with his usual precision and accuracy:--'For the word of God--preached, verse 2, and armed with threatenings, verse 3, is living and powerful--attended with the power of the living God, and conveying either life or death to the hearers; sharper than any two-edged sword--piercing quite through, and laying open, the soul and spirit, joints and marrow--the inmost recesses of the mind, which the apostle beautifully and strongly expresses by this heap of figurative words; and is a discerner, not only of the thoughts, but of the intentions.'"

Adam Clarke further interprets "'as the discerner of the thoughts,' Is a critic of the propensities and suggestions of the heart.  How many have felt this property of God's word where it has been faithfully preached!  How often has it happened that a man has seen the whole of his own character, and some of the most private transactions of his life, held up as it were to public view by the preacher; and yet the parties absolutely unknown to each other!  Some, thus exhibited, have even supposed that their neighbors must have privately informed the preacher of their character and conduct; but it was the word of God, which, by direction and energy of the Divine Spirit, thus searched them out, was a critical examiner of the propensities and suggestions of their hearts, and had pursued them through all their public haunts and private ways."

We just heard the testimony recently of a young man who had for a time been in our youth group.  One day he had stepped on the gas and plunged through an intersection, through a red light, and caused death and destruction.  It was found later that he had seizures, and that this had caused his foot to accelerate inadvertently.  However, after being charged, especially since he had marijuana, not in his system, but in his car, he was found guilty enough to land 6 months in jail.  Just before he was incarcerated, he attended a meeting with his mother where the preacher, unknown to them, said that God told him there was someone in the congregation with seizures.  He stood up knowing he was the one who the preacher had discerned.  He was prayed over and healed.  He, even more miraculously, was saved.  His mother says that during his months in jail, it was like he grew up.  God's word pierced his soul to heal.

"But all things are naked and opened"

Adam Clarke says, "The verb...signifies to have the neck bent back so as to expose the face to full view, that every feature might be seen; and this was often done with criminals, in order that they might be better recognized and ascertained."

Romans 14:12 says, "So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God."  He already sees and knows, so we might as well fess up.  Yes, there is the verse that says, "It is fearful to fall into the hands of the living God."  The fall is fearful, but the everlasting arms can catch you if you call out to Him to rescue.

Then there is the last phrase which hovers over me at times, that looks over my shoulder, which is more than judgment, it is Him.  It is His presence, His love within me.  It is He who abides.  It is the One who loved me enough to die for me, to redeem me to make me His very own.  That's "Him, with whom we have to do."

You know, since we are already having to do with God in open heart surgery, the defect caught in time, where the bone and marrow is split wide open in order to heal, we might as well get on with our healing and come out singing His praises, enjoying His fellowship, just as a little jam session before heaven.  As for that, I love what Louie Giglio said, "Heaven isn't about a place.  It's about a person.  Heaven is Christ.  It's a Groom standing at the end of the aisle.  Heaven is a transition from walking with Jesus in a broken world, to walking to Jesus in a perfect world.  That's Him with whom we have to do!

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