DayBreaks for 8/16/18: The Word Subverted
From the DayBreaks archive, August 2008:
I’ve ranted and raved before about the way language is used today. In some cases, language riles folks up, while in other cases, it is purposely designed to salve our consciences and to try to do away with any sense of guilt or shame we may have about our actions. Today, I want to share something with you that Eugene Peterson wrote in Reversed Thunder about how Satan uses the printed word to accomplish some of his purposes. Certainly, the invention of the printing press and the ability to print the Word in many languages and by the millions of copies has been a great blessing. But as is often the case with Satan, he will take a good thing and somehow find a way to twist it and make something dark out of it. Listen:
“The subtlest and most common attack in the satanic assault on God’s ways among us is a subversion of the word. This subversion unobtrusively disengages our imagination from God’s word and gets us to think of it as something wonderful in print, at the same time that it dulls any awareness that it is spoken by a living God. It has been an enormously successful strategy: millions of people use the Bible in which they devoutly believe to condemn people they do not approve of; millions more read the word of God daily and within ten minutes are speaking words to spouses, neighbors, children, and colleagues that are contemptuous, irritable, manipulative, and misleading. How does this happen? How is it possible for people who give so much attention to the Word of God, to remain so unaffected by it? Not, surely, through unbelief, but through lack of imagination: the enemy subverted the spoken word into an ink word…they go through the minds of the readers like water through a pipe.”
A couple of pages later, he continues to drive home the point: “If the Revelation is masterful in getting us involved in a living response to scripture, it is also unavoidable in its claim that scripture is God’s word to us, not human words about God. Reading scripture as if it were the writings of various persons throughout history giving their ideas of experiences of God, is perhaps the commonest mistake that is made in reading scripture. And the deadliest.”
What is your attitude towards the word? Do you eagerly say, “Yes, I believe Scripture is God’s word and it’s inspired and the only sure and safe guide for faith”? Do you still say the same thing when you find it says something you don’t agree with, or which you don’t like? Does it, at those moments, become less than inspired for you? It is precisely at those moments when we discover something in the word which makes us uncomfortable and which is convicting to us that we need to bow the knee before the Word, realizing it’s not just someone’s opinions or a gentle suggestion about what God wants – it is His very WORD!
Hebrews 4:12-13 (NIV) – 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. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
PRAYER: Give us the wisdom to rightly divide Your word and to apply it to our lives. Give us the courage to read it at face value, humbly, knowing we are reading the very words of God! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
COPYRIGHT 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.