Senior Adult Weekly Devotional Wk. 85

By: Noah Barr

The Exposing Word

Hebrews 4:11-13

11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.  

        Before the heavy artillery of our day, swords were in style. When Christ was on earth, swords were a common form of protection. Sharp and lethal. Many men and sometimes women carried swords, especially on a long journey or when going to unfamiliar places. If someone was attacked, the sword would at least be a deterrent to an enemy. If swung with enough force the sword would cut through the flesh and bones. For those on the other end of the sword a great cry would be heard. For that person’s body had been exposed and weakened. Someone could pierce the chest, cut off an arm or a leg, or even cut into the heart. And in this passage the preacher utilized the common weapon of the sword, saying that the Word of God is as a sword. It is even more powerful than a sword, as a sword could cut open a heart and see the very veins, but the Word of God sees the belief of the heart, that which is invisible. Just as a sword can slice the stomach in half and see what a person has digested, so the Word of God can slice the soul of a person and see the deepest thoughts of that person. Thoughts that are deeper than even that person realizes.

Our passage says in verse 12: “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Heb. 4:12). God is all knowing. Everything that you or I have done, good or bad, is known by the Lord. This is quite a scary truth. It is a truth that leads many men to hide themselves from the Gospel. 1 John 3:20 tells us: “For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” The Bible eventually shines this penetrating light into every human heart whether they are ready or not. 

In verse 13 we are told that there is no creature hidden from God’s view. “And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Heb. 4:13). There is no person in the history of the world who has escaped God’s eye. No one has been able to hide their heart from God. Not one boy or girl, man or woman, has been able to keep their intentions and thoughts private from God. Nor has anyone been able to hide their unbelief from God. Every person who has died before us has answered to Christ and every person after us will answer to Christ. The idea of being naked is what this passage is communicating. Just as Adam and Eve were naked in the Garden and hid because they did not want God to see them in that condition, so every person’s mind and heart is naked before God. Every person, if allowed, would hide their mind and heart from the Lord saying ‘I am naked and you know all my thoughts. I am embarrassed and ashamed because I am completely exposed’. This is the reality for every person. For He knows every heart in this way.

We have discussed the need to examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith and we ask: why is this necessary? It is necessary because the Word of God is living and active. There is only one way to miss God’s rest and that is by refusing to believe in Christ, following the same example of the disbelieving Israelites. Therefore, let us be sure of our salvation. Looking to Him, I ask myself ‘do I have a love for Him and a hatred of sin?’ Those are marks of a true Christian that is saved by the Spirit. The Spirit gives a believer a love for Christ and a hatred for that which is sinful and evil. Do I desire to flee from my sin or do I like to indulge in my sin? Do I have conviction over my sin or do I simply see sin as a way of life, without much danger? Do I love Christ? Do I have a desire to see His name lifted high? Do I have a desire for others to know Him? It is clear from verse 13 that we should watch ourselves. For we cannot hide from God. We cannot escape if we are unbelieving.

We can hide in the back of the church but the Word of God exposes the heart. We can show up but God knows our true intentions. The Israelites said they served God but by their actions they denied Him. If God did not give them what they wanted, they were in an uproar! They hid behind the fact that they were Jewish and thought ‘this is enough’! And yet, if we have believed in Christ, we have no reason to fear. For our hearts are known by Him. We have the great assurance that God knows our name and that He has written it in His book. How wonderful it will be when we stand before Him and we are accepted. Not because of our own goodness, but purely because Christ has given us a new heart that is righteous and blameless before Him. We as believers can come before Christ, not condemned, but expressing what the Psalmist said: “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fulness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11).