For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints, and marrow. It is able to judge the ideas and thoughts of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
This is a familiar verse to me as it may be too many of you. However, this time the words “double-edged sword” stood out like a shining beacon each time I read the verse. On the surface, we see how this verse is literally saying God’s word is sharp and can penetrate our soul and spirit. We could easily dismiss this, believe we had the complete meaning and move on to another verse. But let’s pause for a moment on these three words.
Two-edged – Interestingly, when we go back to the Greek, we see that two-edged comes from the Greek word “distomos.” This is unusual to me because in the Greek “di” means two and “stomos” means mouth. So, the original text would imply we are talking about a double-mouthed sword.
Sword – And the word “sword” is used throughout scripture to describe God’s written Word. In fact, I was just having a conversation about the putting on the armor of God at lunch today with two friends. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Another point to make here is that we see this term, double or two-edged sword several times in scripture. When I searched it, the phrase came up six times in the NIV translation. In Revelation 1:16 we read about the Lord’s return and it mentions a double-edged sword coming out of His mouth. I had never matched the two of these verses before until searching these three words this week.
“In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance. Revelation 1:16
So what does this all mean or boil down to? What is this new understanding we can glean from the Greek translation? How does God’s mouth work in two ways for us as we walk this Earth and seek His ways?
I see it like this, and I hope you have experienced this same interaction with the Word/Sword of God. You are in thoughtful prayer about something, reading through the word of God, listening to a sermon or praise music and all of a sudden . . . it hits you. The perfect scripture flys into your heart like balm on a deep cut. You sense God’s presence and know He has provided you with an answer to prayer. He has spoken to your heart and soul (His mouth). But then where does the second mouth come in? Ah, couldn’t that be when we take His truth and treasure and share His wisdom and Word with someone else? Speaking into them what God shared with us (our mouth).
Two mouths (His and ours) working together with the Sword (His written Word) . . . what an incredible image. I may be way off here, but thanks to digging into some Greek, my eyes have been opened to a new way of looking at how God works through me and in me. I pray you feel the same.
Blog Art is provided by my friend and sister in Christ Polly Jo Green. She is an artist based in Cary, North Carolina. Visit her website at pollyjogreen.com.Her art ranges from doodle creations to mixed media pieces. In addition to commissioned original art, her art is available on notecards.