“He sent His word and healed them.” (Psalm 107:20) “For they are not meaningless words but they are your life.” (Deuteronomy 32:47) “So My heavenly Father will also do to you if each of you does not forgive his brother from his heart.” (Matthew 18:35) “Speak the message fearlessly.” (Philippians 1:14)
What’s in a word? Maybe more than we think.
The psalmist spoke of how the Lord sent His word and healed His people. He didn’t have to show up. He didn’t have to send a sign. He didn’t need to do anything to accomplish this. He just spoke it, and healing happened. It happened just as in the same way He spoke and creation took place. This suggests that just a word from the Lord is powerful to heal. The Roman centurion told Jesus there was no need for Him to come to his home, but that if He would just speak the word, his servant would be healed. Jesus marveled at the centurion’s faith. He hadn’t seen that kind of faith anywhere in Israel.
Moses addressed the people of Israel just before his final ascent up Mount Nebo, and he both encouraged and warned the people to pay attention to the words of the Lord. He said, “For they are not meaningless words but they are your life.” He also taught that “the life is in the blood,” suggesting then that we should see the words of the Lord as our very lifeblood, in that we cannot live without them.
Jesus answered the question of His disciples in Matthew 18 about forgiveness with a parable of the steward who was forgiven his debt but then refused to forgive the debts others had to him. The steward ended up being thrown into jail after all. Jesus then said, “So My heavenly Father will also do to you if each of you does not forgive his brother from his heart.” Forgiveness thus begins in the heart, but then it has to be transformed into three words, “I forgive you.” Then, we have to act on it. We have to live the forgiveness relationally.
In Philippians, Paul rejoiced that the word of the Lord was being preached even while he was in prison. He encouraged them to preach the gospel fearlessly. It is the word of God, and the word of God has no fear in it. Rather, we are to stand in awe of it and preach it fearlessly. The message is the point.
Lord, Help us to remember today that man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from Your mouth. Amen.