My Weapon of Choice

Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is living and active.   Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

I heard this verse yesterday at Grace Chapel during our pastor’s sermon.   It’s one I’m quite familiar with, but yesterday I noticed something about it that I had not paid attention to before.   Joints and marrow?   The writer of Hebrews is comparing the word of God (The Bible) to a double edged sword.   A sword cuts and here the description talks about dividing joints and marrow.   The other words used in the description refer to soul and spirit and thoughts and attitudes of the heart.   These are not physical things.   Joints and marrow are parts of the anatomy of the body.   Joints create connections between bones and the marrow is what feeds the bones and gives them strength.   Why would we need the word of God to penetrate and divide joints and marrow?

As I pondered this question here is what came to mind.   The joints or the connections might not be connecting us to good things.   We might be joined to or connected with things from our past that are not of God.   Or, we might become disconnected from what God wants us to be connected with and in that case the joints would not function properly.   The bones need the joints in order to move, and when you think about the analogy of the human body and the Body of Christ, that is The Church, if our joints are not functioning properly we cannot move as one.   Thus we need the word of God to correct the joints that are not functioning or to disconnect us from that which has held us back.

Then there is the marrow.   If the marrow is bad the bone will wither and die.   The word of God feeds us much like marrow feeds the bone.   If we are feeding on nourishment we will be strengthened.

Our pastor’s sermon was on Words of Life and it was actually part two of a sermon he preached a couple weeks earlier.   The words we speak can have spiritual intent, even if we don’t realize it.   We need to speak words of encouragement to each other as well as to ourselves.   By knowing the word of God we can speak those words to have a positive spiritual impact on ourselves and those around us.   It is not our words that have power but it is God’s words that have power.   I need that power in my life to overcome the struggles of this world and to defend against spiritual attacks.   By knowing the word of God I can speak to those around me words of encouragement words that will have a powerful spiritual impact on their lives.   I can pray the word of God as well, which reminds me of something else.

Last week while looking at Twitter, I saw the following statement by John Piper.

“Take the sword of the Spirit, praying at all times” (Eph. 6:17-18).   We will not know what prayer is for until we know that life is war.

Here is the full passage from Ephesians:

“Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.   And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.   With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”

Now, that statement by Piper — “We will not know what prayer is for until we know that life is war,” it really hit me when I read it last week.   And then yesterday at church hearing the sermon on Words of Life and the analogy of the double edged sword, along with this passage Ezekiel 37:10

“So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet — a vast army.”

(Ezekiel 37 is the chapter that talks about the valley of dry bones.)   Well, here we see a bunch of bones and previously I mentioned the verse about the Word of God being a double edge sword that penetrates and divides soul and spirit, joints and marrow.   Bones, joints and marrow.   I don’t think there’s a coincidence here.   In fact I had not paid attention to how all of this connected until I started writing this evening and looking through my notes from yesterday.   Awesome!

I think God is trying to tell me something.   I think it’s the importance of using the sword he has put in my possession — his word and how I need to be using it to fight.   Because life is war — it’s a spiritual war against an enemy who has already been defeated, but likes to make me think that he hasn’t been.   I can use the power of God’s word in my life and I can speak that word as God leads me.


  1. Norm
    Jun 16, 2009

    One can learn a lot attending Church. I sure have !

  2. Tracy
    Jun 16, 2009


    Thank you for sharing such great thought and insight to the scriptures you referenced. You have definitely given me food for thought!

  3. PJ
    Jun 19, 2009

    You ready to preach?