I’m sure we’ve all heard of this adage and probably know its intended meaning. While there is obvious strength and great power in weapons that kill or cause violence, the written word has always been more effective at swaying the hearts of men.
There’s no better example of this than God’s word itself, written down for our instruction and encouragement in the pages of the Bible. It’s no wonder that the word of God has not only stood the test of time, but is the most widely recognized piece of literature the world has ever known. God’s word is the most powerful thing in the universe and gives us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3), and it’s the understanding and belief of the Bible’s main message (Jesus Christ) that gives us our salvation.
One has to look no further than the creation account in the book of Genesis to see the raw power of God’s very words. Throughout the first chapter, God said, “Let there be…” (vs. 3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24, 27) and it was so. Everything that you can see, hear, touch, and taste found its origin in the words of God. And this is not the only thing God’s word can do. The word of God can…
- Create (Genesis 1)
- Judge (Hebrews 4:12)
- Give faith (Romans 10:17)
- Reflect (James 1:23-25)
- Cleanse (Ephesians 5:26)
- Equip (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
We can see the powerful effect God’s word can have against evil as well. In the beginning of Matthew, chapter 4, we learn that Jesus himself used the word of God as a weapon against the temptations of Satan. In three separate instances, Jesus thwarts the advances of his enemy by speaking, “It is written…”. While this is the only recorded example of Jesus being tempted, we can be sure that He faced other attacks from Satan and knew very well the scope and power of the word of God. In fact, Jesus is the personification of the word itself (John 1:1-5, 14)!
Finally, we can study the analogy the Apostle Paul used at the end of his letter to the church at Ephesus. While trying to encourage the Ephesian Christians, Paul reminds them and us today that we are in a spiritual war against the forces of evil (Ephesians 6:11-13). And what would he have us choose as our go-to weapon? That’s right…”the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17). I find it fascinating that of all the things Paul listed as part of our spiritual armor (the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, ready feet, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit), only one would be considered an offensive weapon. This should give new meaning to the phrase, “the pen is mightier than the sword.” The word IS the sword!
Take a moment and look around at our world today. Hatred and evil seem to be at all-time high. Sure, we’ve risen out of such times before, and sure, we may do so again. But I’m convinced there’s no better way to cure what ails us than God’s word…the most powerful weapon in Heaven and on earth.