Ever since the beginning, everything seems to be about words in conflict. After all, God’s creation was all good, until a little conversation in chapter 3. What was the core of that conversation? “Did God really say?” The serpent questioned God’s words, and questioned whether or not those words could be trusted. He offered an alternative, “you won’t die” as opposed to “don’t eat or you will die.” Tragically, they went for it.
So, history is all about Adam’s “dead” offspring. Oh, and about a God who captures the hearts of this spiritually dead humanity by offering his words again, “believe in me and you will have life!”
Sometimes we crave direct and exciting intervention from God, if only we could see His angels all the time, or miracles immediately after every prayer. But the vast majority of the time, even in Bible times, God is more indirect. He gives His word and He asks us to trust Him.
In the book of Genesis, once the war of the words becomes clear, the foundation is laid. Then the story shifts to focus on one man, Abram, and God’s plan. God’s word to Abram at the start of Genesis 12 really sets the direction for the rest of the Bible. We get to watch Abram growing in his trust in God’s word. Just like us, he didn’t get it all at once. Just like Abram, we need to listen carefully to what God says and trust Him.
The Bible goes on like this for three-quarters of a million words. Our lives go on like this for even more words. As preachers we stand and preach in this war of words, and the words we preach matter.
The war of the words still rages, let’s make sure we’re listening when we open God’s word. Let’s be sure we’re preaching our hearts out whenever we get the chance. Because for the rest of the day, the rest of the week, there will be plenty of alternative words trying to capture all of our hearts!