The Word of GodIn Creation
"So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."Isaiah 55:11
Imagine the universe, as it flashes into being. Outbursts of energy assault the blackness. Raging storms of light . . . they press the limits of infinity, and yet are obviously held in check by some unseen control.
Who among men can comprehend the power? Man, indeed, has finally learned how to destroy our fragile little world. But all the bombs that the human race has made, would only light one star for one millionth of a millionth of a second. A force of superior power is warming the earth with light.
If our soil is rich, it is because that power has worked for ages past. If our cities bustle with traffic, it is just another form of the energy that came to earth as sunlight, eons and eons ago.
While the stars can still be seen, observe themsee the meaning of infinite power. And then focus a microscope, to learn the meaning of infinite wisdom. Molecules of matterparticles tinier than dustyet organized as energy systems. They, too, obey unseen control. They can bond together, firm and rigid, or associate freely, in a fluid. They can bend, stretch, and shrink. They can form into purest crystals, flawlessly guided by an inner plan. They can transmit the light of the stars . . . bend it into color. And, most amazing of all, these structures of inner space, can see the light from outer space . . . in that amazing organization of inanimate matter that we call "Life."
Consider the Eye
Consider the eye. The only transparent part of a living organismyet occurring in every one of the higher life forms. Living structures that can clearly transmit light like purest glass; adjustable lenses that can focus it; millions of nerved sensors that detect the difference between brightness and color; and a brain that can collect these impulses, discern patterns in them, gather information from them, react to them, remember them.
In five different classes of creatures sight occurs: mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and insects. In every case, a miracle of engineering, perfectly designed to meet the needs of that creature. To the great scientist, Isaac Newton, the eye was irrefutable proof that there is a God in heaven.
Except where man has destroyed the natural balance, we find that order prevails . . . we observe order within the workings of the tiniest cells; specialized activities, harmoniously carried out; communication with itself, and with the outside world. Order and symmetry, abundant variety and superfluity, give evidence not only of practical response to an environment, but also of the work of a master designer. Strength and delicacypower and mobilityspeed and gracesimplicity and ostentationcamouflage and grand display.
When we reflect on the variety and interdependency of life on earth, we see not merely a "food chain," but a symphony of freedom, where every creation has its place, and the most important roles are played by the most insignificant participants.
The Creative Word
What is the force that unleashed the raw, rebellious power of the universe, and yet imposed an order that controls even the stars? What is the power that transformed mud into granite, coal into diamonds, and ashes into life? The Word of God!
"By the Word of God the heavens were made." "God spoke, and it was done. He commanded, and it stood fast." By a word from the Almighty the mighty seas were gathered. By a word from the Almighty the mountains arose. By a command from God the flowers produced seed. The birds carried it away, the islands gave it ground.
By a word from God a stony earth became the mother of a thousand forms, a million varieties of life. By the word of God, mankind was made in Gods image. A voice that can whisper, and shout, and sing; a hand that can draw, and write, and build; a mind that can wonder, and search, and choose.
By the word of God, ordinary men were tapped by the finger of God. Men who walked with God, grew to become poets, or philosopher-kings, or, simply, saints.
By the word of God, freedom is the law, disobedience is a thing that is permitted, and the judgments of God are difficult to trace. By the word of God, the path of righteousness, when it can be found at all, is not always met with pleasant rewards.
By the word of God, life for most people is a maze of shadows, where the darkest shades are felt in deeply personal ways. But by the word of God, the tragedies of this life will not be wasted. And the wisdom each man gains will not be lost forever. Even with its pain, life is always a blessing . . . and death, though sometimes a relief, is always the enemy.
Creation Not in Vain
When man first exploded an atomic bomb, its inventor repeated the ancient Sanskrit boast: "I am become death, the destroyer of worlds." But God boasts of His creations. The universe he brought to pass through the power of His spoken word. And in His written Word, he tells us that He is not the God of the dead, but of the Living. He identifies himself as the one who created the earth. He assures us that He did not create the earth in vain. He formed it to be inhabited. He asks us, not to worship him in fear of destruction, but in thankfulness for creation. Because He, and He alone, has the power to create a galaxy, or a flower, simply by sending forth His word. If we have questions, let us ask them. If we feel the pain of the human race, let us turn to God for answers. There is enough evidence of a God in heaven to justify our search: the stars can prove to us Gods power. The miracle of life can teach us His wisdom. And the Word of God alone can show us His justice and His love.
Defining Our Terms
Before we proceed, let us define our terms. The Words of God are His spoken commands, uttered in the heavens. Rarely has the literal voice of God been heard among men.
The phrase, "Word of God" sometimes refers to the actual written message of the Bible, the inscriptions themselves. This is the case in some places in the New Testament where the Greek word rhema is used, such as 1 Peter 1:25.
The WordA Principle
But most of the time when the Bible uses the expression "Word of God" it is "Logos"the spirit that moved in the holy men of God as they wrote the Bible. It is the sacred truth they brought to usnot merely the words, but also the significance behind them.
In this sense, the written Word of God is a living principle, an extension of God himself, that operates in the minds and hearts of those who approach God in sincerity and truth.
This is the force that Paul describes when he says that the "Word of God is alive, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword . . . able to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart."
The Word of God, as a principle, transforms us by the renewing of our minds. It shows us our sin and unworthiness of life apart from Christ. It shows us that fellowship with God is not achieved through self-examination, but by Gods examination of us. "In Thy Light, we see light." In the language of David in Psalms 139:23, God searches us. When His probing uncovers a need, we respond by looking at Gods Word, and like a mirror it shows us precisely what we need to do. We dont look at ourselves, we look at the mirrorGods word. It corrects us, instructs us in righteousness.
The Word Personified
The Word of God is also a person: our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He is the plan, expression, intention, of God Himself. The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, so that we can behold the glory of God. To Moses, God showed his back side. In Jesus, we are able to see Gods face.
And finally, the Word of God is personified in the Church of God. It is spoken of as "the epistle of Christ." The apostles wrote words, but Christ writes his message to the world in the hearts and lives of his followers.
The great French humanist philosopher Voltaire inaugurated The Age of Reason. The modern world can thank Voltaire that we are free to express religious views without fear of being burned at the stake. But Voltaire also vigorously attacked the Bible, laughing at the idea that it could be the Word of God. "Crush the infamy" was his cry.
While God allowed Voltaire to prevail against false religions, Voltaires attempts to destroy the Word of God met with utter failure. "The wrath of man will praise him. The remainder of wrath he will restrain." Within a few short years of Voltaires death, Bible societies sprang up all over Europe and America. Some years later it was learned that the very room where these Bibles came to be stored had been the site where Voltaire issued his most famous tract attacking the Bible. The Word of God is always triumphant.