But [Jesus] answered, “It is written,‘Man shall not live on bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Matthew, quoting Jesus, quoting Moses, quoting YHWH
Matthew 4:4; Deuteronomy 8:4
Words, words, words. The world is filled with words. Words inform. Express. Empower. Kill. Make peace. And give life. Proverbs 18:21 says that ‘death and life are in the power of the tongue’ and Proverbs 15:23 tells us, “To make an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season, how good it is!” In a word, words matter! Words are immeasurably powerful! And they matter and hold power, because of their origin and purpose. God is a Speaking God (Jn 1:1-3), and in his image, we were given words to rule the world (Gen. 1:26-28; 2:19).
In fact, God himself rules and redeems through words. God spoke the world into existence (Gen 1:3; Ps 33:6). Jesus upholds the world by the power of his word (Heb 1:3). God’s word never fails (Isa 55:10-11); it speaks to the ends of the universe (Ps 19:1-7; Rom 10:18) with absolute perfection (Ps 19:7-11). And for those made in His image, salvation and sanctification depend on His word (Heb 6:13ff; Jn 17:17) So central are words to God, that it is impossible to know Him without them, and thus he has commanded his church to ‘preach the word’ in season and out, unto the ends of the earth.
The word of God is pleasant and life-giving. But our world, and indeed our own hearts, resist God’s word. As Christians should be able to recall the joy of God’s word in our lives, but we surely we can bear testimony to the parched results of its absence.
Matthew 12:36 tells us that at the end of our lives, we will give an account for every single word we speak, and what God is listening for in our words is an echo of His word. So, how do your words measure up? Do they reflect the grace and truth of the God who gave you the gift of speech? Or do they reflect the worldliness and futility of the world? God wants to fill your heart with his Word, and indeed our souls long for this more than we know. This month, may we be those who feed on God’s word, so that our words are life-giving, because we are filled with the Word of God (Col 3:16-17).
Soli Deo Gloria, dss