Scripture reveals all things.
‘For the word of God is alive and active.’ (Hebrews 4:12-13)
In this passage the author highlights the power of God’s ‘word’. He does not simply mean the word of scripture, but the word that can come to us, among other ways, as the Holy Spirit brings the words of Scripture to life in a way that targets and speaks into our own hearts. Such a word is powerful, alive, even cutting, and ‘piercing’ through all our defences to our very core. Although the images here are fearsome: ‘sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divided the soul from spirit, joints from marrow; we also know that God searches out only to bring us greater freedom from sin and death.
The design of verses is to show us that we do not escape the notice of God; and that since our hearts are perfectly open before him, we should be sincere and should not attempt to deceive him.
The author of Hebrews seeks to impress us, the reader, of the real opportunity that lies before those who will take God at his word, and in obedience move forward to lay hold of his promise of rest.
God is not casual in assessing our spiritual condition. The imagery used here helps us to see that the truth of God is all-penetrating and searching, and that the real thoughts and intents of the heart will be brought to light. Rather than dealing with externals, such as religious observance, the penetrating word “judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” His word cut deeply to the darkest corners of the inner life and lays bare spiritual realities that one might wish to keep hidden.
Accepting our vulnerability to God’s living word, now, rather than hardening our hearts, will serve us best when we must render our account (v13). Nothing is hidden as we stand before God, we must trust in the leading of scripture in our lives as God is revealed to us through it.
God, I thank you that your word is alive and active. Thank you that you do not miss a thing. I pray that you would come and speak to each of us through your word. That we would be able to hear you and know more of who you are. We invite you to come and speak. Amen.