Scriptural Gem for November 2013

In Hebrews 4:12 we read: 'For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.'

and in Revelation 1:15-16 we read: 'His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. 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.'

The English translation creates the impression that the two references to 'sword' are about one and the same sharp instrument. However, the original Greek sheds much more light on the matter. In Hebrews 4:12 the word for sword is 'Machaira' - a large knife or 'dirk' used for thrusting in close battle and dividing up a butchered carcass when hunting. (Hence the references to 'dividing joints and marrow'). On the other hand, the word translated 'sword' in Revelation 1:16 is 'Romphaia' - a long battle sword normally worn across the back with a long handle for two-handed use. This sword was a true battle sword which could cut an enemy in half at a stroke.

In Revelation 1, John is seeing the Lord Jesus Christ as the triumphant King-Judge wielding this awesome battle sword for the purpose of judgement. The implication for us is clear - either we submit to the 'Machaira' of His Word to lay bare our hearts and reveal the awful hidden contents, for us to come to Him for forgiveness and cleansing or failing that, we face the dreadful 'Romphaia' of His judgement. The idea of a gentle Jesus who will always 'just understand' and excuse our sinful conduct is not scriptural. He invites you and me today to 'come under His knife', let sin be laid bare and routed out by the roots and for us to be cleansed. At the final trumpet it will be too late - we will face the 'Romphaia' of judgement. Dear friend, which will it be? Dear Lord, we humbly submit to the deep work of your sharp knife. The sword of your judgement is too dreadful to consider. Amen. 

Werner Schreiber