“For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of the soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
The author of Hebrews follows the theme of hardened hearts, disobedience, and not resting in God by presenting the solution in response—the word of God.
Pastor John Piper sums up Hebrews 4:12-13, saying “The Word of God penetrates very, very deep.” The Word pierces many layers—through our soul and spirit, our joints and marrow. At the core, God judges and sees either our belief or unbelief in our thoughts and heart’s intentions. This is the same unbelief that is the Israelites’ “same pattern of disobedience” the Hebrews author warns us not to fall into (4:11). This penetrating Word, which is the new covenant (Heb. 2:1-4; 3:1-6; Jn. 1:14), exposes our sin.
You may be asking, “what should I do about my unbelief?” Praise God that by His grace through His Word, He exposes our unbelief. Pastor John Piper gives practical advice on defeating our unbelief through God’s Word:
- Marinate your mind in the Bible (Ps. 1:1-2)
- Connect with your community group (3:12-13). Confide in your spouse, or your accountability partner if you’re single.
Much more than a book of morals, of what’s “right and wrong,” the Word of God is profitable (2 Tm. 3:16), the sword of the Spirit (Eph. 6:17), living and enduring (Mt. 24:35; 1 Pt 1:23). So, we should take a few minutes of our day to read a chapter or a few verses of Scripture, finding joy in it (Jos. 1:8; Ps. 40:8).
Turn away from the lies and empty promises of sin. In other words, repent. Instead, rest in the promises of God. He is the same God that brought the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, the same God who saved us from our sin and death by sending His only Son to die and pay the cost of our sin.
Father, I pray that we may soak into your life-giving Word, that it may expose our disobedience in You. Help us in our unbelief and turn our hearts to You, our good Father, and to your promises which are unchanging. May we believe deep in our hearts that Jesus is better.