The Two-Edged Sword
1Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise in the assembly of the godly!
2Let Israel be glad in his Maker; let the children of Zion rejoice in their King!
3Let them praise his name with dancing, making melody to him with tambourine and lyre!
4For the Lord takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with salvation.
5Let the godly exult in glory; let them sing for joy on their beds.
6Let the high praises of God be in their throats and two-edged swords in their hands,
7to execute vengeance on the nations and punishments on the peoples,
8to bind their kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron,
9to execute on them the judgment written! This is honor for all his godly ones. Praise the Lord!
In this song of praise, we find the worship life of the writer described with some detail. The first few verses (1-4) deal with public / corporate worship and the last 5 deal with private time spent in worship of the Lord as is evidenced by the words sing for joy on their beds. Our whole life is to be filled with praise for the Living God, both publicly and privately.
The last half of this psalm is interesting in that the words employ the use of God’s “two-edged sword” in our hands. With some digging through the New Testament, we learn that this sword is indeed powerful for it is the Word of God. In 2019 that doesn’t seem like much of a weapon, but it is indeed filled with power and God has given it to us.
Revelation 1:16; 19:15
15In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength. 19From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.
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.
16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Using God’s Word as a tool for worship is the most ancient of practices. The Word permeates our worship lives every Sunday morning and hopefully throughout the week as we head into our prayer closets. But you can’t use what you don’t know. How often do we utilize God’s Word in our worship lives? Study is one thing – and of course I’m going to stand up for Bible Study at every opportunity. But even more important than study is worship. Talking with God about what He has said in the Scriptures is a valuable and enjoyable occupation. Allowing the Word to shape and form who we are and how we maneuver through the day is the stuff of life.
I find that moving through life without the Word to be difficult indeed. This last week has been filled with trial and angst. Just ask my husband, who has suffered my bad mood and short temper with peaceful resilience. And it’s not because I have abandoned God’s Word, but I have most certainly not spent the time there that I need. I’ve been going it alone and it’s painful. You’d think I would learn. But I put down my sword and that was a bad idea. So, because God gives numerous chances to us throughout each day, I gratefully turn back to what I know is real and important and surrender it all into His hands as I drop the cares of the world and take His Word back up again. The relief is palpable.