Hebrews 4:12 – For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
The word of God we learn here is:
- Very Sharp, but how sharp?
- Pierce to the division of soul and spirit
- Pierce to the division of joints and marrow
But what does that all mean?
The word of God is so living, active and sharp that it can discern my thoughts and my intentions.
There are lots of ideas on what it means to discern between soul and spirit, but I believe what the writer is saying is that the word of God can discern what is from me (the soul of man, who I am) from God (the spirit of a man, who God is). The word of God helps me discern what is God’s voice, and what is my voice. My will versus God’s will.
Our hearts are deceitful above all things, but God knows our heart (Jeremiah 17:9-10). We can convince ourselves that something is the right path, but we are speaking from our own passions, instead of listening to God’s voice.
The word of God is there to help us discern what is impossible to otherwise discern. What is from me, and what is from God? How do I know if I am following my own will or God’s will? The answers are in God’s word.
and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.
Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.