A Creative Word

Today's Bible reading: Isaiah 11:1-9

As Genesis 1 shows, God's Word is not merely the communication of thoughts.  The Hebrew word “dabar” also means a “thing.”  The prophetic word is a creative power let loose in history to accomplish God’s plan.  Once it is spoken, it will not return to God empty-handed.  Thus, only God can recall a word … can change His decision to punish.  Jeremiah 1:9, 10 also illustrates the effect of power of God's prophetic word: it can pluck up and destroy but also plant and build.

What the prophet does is therefore also a part of his ministry.  The often strange signs performed by people such as Jeremiah and Ezekiel are actions which set the process of events in motion.  In a special way, Jeremiah’s whole life is a prophetic word.  He himself suffers as a sign of the doom which is to come on all the people.

Yet the creative power of God's Word comes to light most forcefully in the great messages of comfort – often spoken in Israel's darkest days, when the nation was under extreme thread.  When Judah was faced with invasion, Isaiah spoke those beautiful words about the coming Messiah – the one who would be the Suffering Servant.  It was just when they condemned the false shepherds of Israel (prophets, priests, and kings who were unfaithful) that the prophets promised the coming of God in the person of the Good Shepherd.

Prayer: Pour out Your seven-fold Spirit, O Lord, that we may boldly proclaim Your goodness.  Amen.