Reading: Psalm 33:6-9
By the word of the LORD the heavens were made,
their starry host by the breath of his mouth.
He gathers the waters of the sea into jars;
he puts the deep into storehouses.
Let all the earth fear the LORD;
let all the people of the world revere him.
For he spoke, and it came to be;
he commanded, and it stood firm (NIV). *
Have you ever considered the creative power of words? Words change the world. They bring order out of chaos. Words shine the light of day into the darkness of this world. From the very beginning words have been imbued with divine power. The psalmist reminds us, “By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth.”
But it’s not only God’s words that have this vast power. Our words—human words, whether spoken written or thought have enormous power too. Adam’s first job assignment was to speak words—to name the animals. Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals (Genesis 2: 19-20).
Strangely, God didn’t do what every parent does. He didn’t tell Adam what the animals were called. Adam told God their names. By so doing, God vested humanity with the power of language. Life is what we call it. Our words describe the world and give meaning to it.
Through our words we bring order and make sense of the world around us. As a writer I am continually processing and attempting to make sense of this chaotic thing called life. I do it with words. From the beginning of time, by divine command that is what we are called to do. We are to speak order into chaos— speak accuracy and clarity into this world’s muddled reality.
With our words we shine the light of truth onto a situation. With words we write laws, administer justice and design government. With words we woo and romance and vow our love to one another. Our words create imaginary realms into which we can travel—words that transport. With our words we have the power to elevate the human spirit, or crush someone to the point of suicide.
Finally, there is something innately prophetic about our words. What we think, speak, and write is potent. It has within in it the latent ability to become reality. Therefore, we need to guard our lips. See James 3:1-12. The psalmist reminds us not only of the power of the word of the LORD, but also our own words. For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.
Response: LORD God, help me give careful consideration to my words. Today, may my words, whether written or spoken, be a creative force for good in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Your Turn: How has God used your words for good lately? Are your words bringing order out of chaos, love and peace to a troubled world?
* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA
Please pray for peace to return to Ukraine!
Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer won the Best Book of the Year Award from The Word Guild and Volume II has won the Best Devotional of the Year Award. For those who love God’s word, this three-book series is an ideal way to daily meet with the Lord. To purchase or for a closer look click here.
Alan Kearns said:
I am utterly humbled that sometimes the words I write can lead someone to some spiritual place of safety in God. I feel inadequate to be so esteemed to be part of His Work, but my trust and only hope is Him and only Him. I serve at His pleasure.
And you do it with grace and humility, Alan. May God continue to use you in His service.
Any time I speak before a congregation, my opening prayer is Psalm 19:14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my [h]strength and my Redeemer.
That’s a prayer we all need to pray frequently. Thanks for the reminder, Wally.
Wow, a beautiful, clear picture of the magnificence and power words can give to something or someone. Thank you for this encouragement. It’s especially needed in these times where words are twisted and skewed.
So true, Amber.
Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones (Proverbs 16:24, NIV).