Your word, O Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens(Psalm 119:89)
What is the Word of the Lord?
Christians often call the Bible, “The Word of the Lord”. But “The Word of the Lord” is not just the Bible. See what the Bible itself says:
By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. (Psalm 33:6) (Note: in Hebrew, “breath” = “spirit”)These passages show that the Word of the Lord is whatever proceeds from Him and expresses His own thoughts, His creativity, His intentions, His desires, His emotions. The Creation itself is a manifestation of the Word of the Lord. The manna in the wilderness was another, as is His healing of the afflicted. The same can be said of all natural phenomena.
And [the LORD] humbled you, and allowed you to suffer hunger, and fed you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known of. He did this to show you that man does not live by bread only, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD. (Deuteronomy 8:3)
Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and He saves them out of their distresses. He sent His word , and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction. (Psalm 107:19-20)
He sends forth his commandment upon the earth. His word runs very swiftly. He gives snow like wool. He scatters the frost like ashes. He casts forth his ice like crumbs of bread. Who can stand before his cold? He sends out His word , and melts them. He causes His wind to blow, and the waters flow. (Psalm 147:15-17)
In the Old Testament, the Word of the Lord was imminent, dynamic, personal. A prophet of the Lord experienced the Lord speaking specifically and directly to him. Some Christians teach that God no longer speaks directly, but only through the Bible. It is more accurate to say, God still does speak directly, but whatever He says is completely CONSISTENT with the Bible.
As Jesus says, God is God of the LIVING, not the dead (Luke 20:38) . So why then do we call Him, 'The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob'? Because He speaks directly and personally to the LIVING, just as He spoke to face to face with the patriarchs (Genesis 32:30).
Jesus shows us clearly what the Word of the Lord is. Whatever He spoke, whatever He did, expressed the Word of the Lord. For Jesus said, "if you have seen Me you have seen the Father" (John 14:9).
When Jesus commanded the wind and the waves to be still, this was the Word of the Lord: as was when He fed the multitudes, when He raised Lazarus from death, and when He cursed the fig tree and it withered. Jesus’ words are representative of the Word which the Father continues to speak to us.
Ultimately, the Word of the Lord IS Jesus, because He Himself is the FULL expression of God’s ideas and intentions, His desires and emotions. As Paul says, “In Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9).
Let us NEVER think that knowing the Bible is synonymous with knowing the Word of the Lord. Knowing the Word means nothing less than knowing Jesus face to face, as Moses knew the LORD (Deut 34:10). Knowing the Bible is only a small (but essential!) part of knowing Him.
Prayer: Father, I come before you in Jesus’ name. Open my heart to receive Your Word in all its fullness.
Though you speak to me constantly in myriad ways, I rarely catch the sound of Your voice. Teach me to perceive Your Voice, through the tangled jumble of voices and experiences which assault me daily.
Usually I rush from one activity to another, without digesting or appreciating any of them. I am a glutton for life’s pleasures, yet I savor none of them – because I do not take the time to meditate on the Word which You express through all of my experiences. Teach me to lead a deep and thoughtful life.
Thank You for the Bible,
through which You have disclosed so much of Yourself. Teach my heart to
love Your written Word, not as a means to make myself “spiritual” in the
eyes of men, but as a way to draw closer to Your heart, to become Your
Copyright © 2000 CrossPollen
Last Revised: December 15, 2000
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