Canadian rock star Bryan Adams sings “…it cuts like a knife / But it feels so right…” He s singing about his bittersweet acceptance of his girlfriend breaking up with him in favour of another. Losing her is severing, but deep down he knows it is for the best.
How easily and swiftly even as Christians we can sometimes fall prey to allures that are really not good for us at all. This world is a landmine field of such snares. When unwholesome loves get hold of our hearts it takes the Word of God to excise them. It too “cuts like a knife…” it performs surgery like a scalpel, and it slays like a sword.
“Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” urges Paul (Eph. 6:17). And in Hebrews we read, “For the word of God is alive 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.” (Heb. 4:12).
A “double-edged sword” is typically a narrow, straight, flat sword with a blade on each side which comes to a sharp point. These features make it an excellent weapon for accuracy and deep penetration. A “double-edged sword” can be thrust through gaps in armour and wielded with greater versatility than a single-edged weapon. In battle a “double-edged sword” can whip backwards as well as slash in an arc. It’s ability to also thrust make it a useful weapon even in very tight environments.
Idiomatically the phrase “double-edged sword” refers to something that has or can have both favorable and unfavorable consequences. It “cuts both ways,” as we sometimes say. It can have both a desirable and an undesirable effect. The medicine may cure the disease but also bring uncomfortable side-effects.
The Word if God can seem to be having this effect as it inspires our souls, guides us or brings comfort yet convicts us of areas of stubborn will or practices of sin which are unyielding. Its work is similar to that of the Holy Spirit, “to convict of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment” (John 16:8).
The Word of God exposes all: “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” (Heb. 4:13)
What should be our response to its incising work? We need to admit like Bryan, “…it cuts like a knife / But it feels so right…”
God has our best interests in mind. Let His Word do its work…. often.
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