in From the Pastor

Wounded by the Word

Are you wounded? Has the Bible wounded you? In the book of Hebrews we read that God’s Word is sharper than any two-edged sword, discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Although the image of a sword is used, the precision with which it can be described makes it more akin to a scalpel. Thus, what we have is an instrument that is large enough to overcome our defenses, yet can be used with the accuracy of a surgeon’s blade. 2 Samuel 12 illustrates this truth well.

You may recall that David had chosen to remain in the luxury of his palace while the military went out to war. While strolling on his rooftop one day he noticed Bathsheba bathing and inquired about her. Discovering she had a husband and that her husband was away at war defending the very kingdom he was supposed to be protecting didn’t seem to matter to David. He took Bathsheba and together they had a baby. Then, as is too often the case, rather than repenting, David tried multiple times to cover up his sin and eventually believed he had succeeded when he received word that his plan to kill Uriah had been accomplished. Now he was free to take Bathsheba as his wife, and he did.

God was greatly displeased. The prophet Nathan was sent to tell David a parable. There were two men. One was rich and the other poor. The poor man had only one little lamb, and it was more than a farm animal, more than a pet, it was all he had in the world. Some visitors dropped in on the rich man, who had vast fields of sheep, but not content to take from his own flock, he stole the poor man’s lamb, slaughtered it and fed his guests.

The point of every parable is to draw the listener in and, before you know it, you are at the center of the story you thought was about someone else. When David heard this story, he was indignant and began spewing out commands of judgment upon the rich man. At just that moment, Nathan, with eyes locked on David’s, bellows above David’s ranting, “You are the man!” David fell silent.

David’s third person defenses (he should repay, he should be brought to account) turned into a second person revelation (you are the man) that resulted in a first person response, “I have sinned against the Lord.” God’s Word pierces to the heart, discerning our thoughts and intentions.

David’s wound was deep and it hurt more than anything he had ever experienced, but it was a wound that removed self-deception and, once healed, restored his relationship with God.

Has God’s Word ever wounded you?