The Word and Power

Joe Neil Clayton
Montebello, California

The most powerful words in the first few verses of the Bible are "God said." Nothing of the force needed for the creation of the world is mentioned beyond this. He actually "spoke" the universe into existence. The Children of Israel did not develop such a God, for no human god is represented to have such power. Their weakness is apparent! So, the Psalmist is moved to urge the creation to ". . . praise the name of Jehovah, for He commanded, and they were created" (P8. 148:5).

No suggestion is made in the first chapter of Genesis that God spoke His words, and then busied Himself with the mechanics of putting His complex creations together. His Word did that without error. When we are told that God "rested" from His labor of creation (Genesis 2:3), we are not to suppose that He had mental fatigue, or that His mouth was tired from speaking, for Isaiah tells us, "The everlasting God, Jehovah, the Creator of the ends of the earth, faints not, neither is weary; there is no searching of His understanding" (Isa. 40:28). God simply ceased from His labor for a time.

If the Word of God was sufficient to bring the world into existence, we learn much regarding the authority of God. The proper response to such knowledge would be to respect that authority. "By the word of Jehovah were the heavens made, and all host of them by the breath of His mouth. He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap: He lays the deeps in store houses. Let all the earth fear Jehovah: Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. For He spoke and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast" (Ps. 33:6-9). Moses taught the children of Israel that God gave them the miracle of the manna that He might make them "know that man does not five by bread only, but by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of Jehovah . . ." (Deut. 8:3). Such respect for the Word of God sustained our Lord Jesus Christ when he was tempted in the wilderness (Matt. 4:4).

God's Word never fails to accomplish its purpose. ". . . So shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the think whereto I sent it" (Isa. 55: 11). God's Word is consistent in its accomplishment, also. ". . . The word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward" (Heb. 2:2). It is because of this consistency that Christians are urged to "give the more earnest heed to the things that were heard, lest haply we drift away from them" (Heb. 2: 1).

Respect for the powerful Word of God is commanded in the New Testament. Peter says, "This is now, beloved, the second letter that I write unto you; and in both of them I stir up your sincere mind by putting you in remembrance; that you should remember the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles: knowing this first, that in the last days mockers shall come with mockery, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of His coming? For, from the day that the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation (that is, we see no demonstrations of the power of the Word of God since the creation). For this they willfully forget, that there were heavens from of old, and an earth compacted out of water and amidst water, by the WORD OF GOD: by which means the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: but the heavens that now are, and the earth, by the same word have been stored up for fire, being reserved against the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men" (2 Peter 3:1-7).

The strong lessons concerning the power of the Word of God, both to save and to destroy, should came us to "tremble at His Word" (Isa. 66:5). Eternal Life will be the reward of all who do so.

TRUTH MAGAZINE, XV: 39, pp. 12-13
August 12, 1971