More Than a Simple Book
Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of hosts: “Because you have spoken this word, behold, I am making my words in your mouth a fire, and this people wood, and the fire shall consume them” (Jeremiah 5:14, ESV).
Just what is this Book? Every now and then we get a glimpse of the Bible’s power. We sense how superior it is to any other book. When God created, He simply spoke words (Genesis 1:3). The Son is called the Word (John 1:1). And the pages of the Bible are filled with the very words of God. How can we grasp what we hold in our hands? Let’s consider eight ways the Bible describes itself:
1. God’s Word is fire. In Jeremiah 5:14, God tells His prophet, “Behold, I am making my words in your mouth a fire, and this people wood, and the fire shall consume them.” God’s Word is fire—hot, aggressive, and purifying. Scripture consumes all obstacles in its path and burns away the unneeded. I can’t tell you how often I have gotten into God’s Word with my mind in a muddle: straw, cobwebs, and dust. But God’s Word purges the nonsense in my thinking and gets me on subject and on task.
2. God’s Word is a sword. God’s Word cuts with surgical precision. “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” (Hebrews 4:12). Like a scalpel, God’s Word cuts right to the heart of the matter. Too often we can get swept up in conversations, debates, and tangents. The Word of God cuts to the truth. It can have a shocking, severing effect, separating what shouldn’t be from what should be.
3. God’s Word is a hammer. “Is not my word like fire, declares the LORD, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces” (Jeremiah 23:29)? The Bible is like a maul, pounding our hard hearts. Have you ever experienced the hammering impact of God’s Word? When our hearts are rock-hard, stubborn, and resistant to God, the powerful blows of God’s Word strike, crack, and shape us. Don’t get between the hammer and the work!
4. God’s Word is a seed. “Since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God” (1 Peter 1:23). As surely as planting a seed in fertile soil will yield a plant, the discipline of planting Scripture in the soil of your mind will yield results. The most dedicated students of Scripture know they haven’t even begun to plumb the depths of God’s Word. Like a seed, it appears small—but it contains the power and potential to grow, multiply, and bear much fruit.
5. God’s Word is milk. “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation” (1 Peter 2:2). Would you feed a newborn baby meat? Of course not! Infants need milk, and they need it frequently. God’s Word prescribes the same sequence in our exposure to the Scriptures. If conversion is a new birth, then for a time in our lives we are like spiritual babies, and we desperately need milk. New Christians should be waking up and craving the nourishment of God’s Word.
6. God’s Word is meat. Like a perfect filet mignon, the Scriptures are God’s gourmet feast. “You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child” (Hebrews 5:12b–13). Sadly, some Christians never graduate to the solid food (the meat) of the Bible and still eat only an infant’s diet (milk). In order to grow spiritually, we need to chew on the rich, satisfying meat of God’s Word.
7. God’s Word is light. God doesn’t want us to live in the dark, making blind decisions and wondering where we’re going. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105). In our dark world, God’s Word lights our way, illuminating the path ahead—not just the very next step but also the direction of our journey. No more wandering and stumbling. God’s Word helps us walk and live in the light.
8. God’s Word is a mirror. God’s Word also shows us ourselves clearly. “For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing” (James 1:23–25). If you glanced in the mirror and saw that you had mustard all over your face, would you wipe your face, or walk away and forget? In the same way, God’s Word shows us who we really are—and then challenges us to act on what we see.
This isn’t just any other book. It’s the most important, enduring, life-changing Book ever written—a fire, a sword, a hammer, a seed, milk, meat, light, a mirror.
“It is no empty word for you, but your very life” (Deuteronomy 32:47).