Words are often much more significant than we think. At a casual glance words are nothing more than a means of communication, such as giving instructions, working along with others, or sharing our deeper thoughts and feelings.
The Bible tells us, however, that words are lawful tools that bring power into situations. Words not only express our thoughts and our will, they have power to hold us or release us. The Bible tells us that life and death are controlled by our words.
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue (controlled by words), And those who love it (the proper use of words) will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21
The Bible also shows that God establishes things by His word. Creation was a product of God speaking with His own divine authority.
“And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” Genesis 1:3
The Bible also tells us that all things are held together by Christ’s words.
“upholding all things by the word of His power” Hebrews 1:3
Because words have this added, primary dimension we do well to take note of it and to establish our faith and our faithful actions on the right words, such as God’s Word and a faithful testimony from our own mouth.
Take note that the very first temptation of mankind involved Satan questioning God’s Word. The serpent came to Eve and asked about the forbidden fruit, asking “has God said?”
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God made. And he said to the woman, Has God said, You are not to eat of every tree of the garden?” Genesis 3:1
The Devil’s temptation began by questioning God’s words. Why did the Devil use that approach? I suggest it is because of the supreme importance of words. The devil wanted Eve to break God’s command.
Christians are often bombarded with challenges to God’s Word. Some people scoff at what the Bible says, suggesting for example that miracles cannot possibly be true, or that evolution proves the Bible account of creation false.
Another attack on God’s Word is to question interpretations, including whether the original language has been faithfully translated into our language but also whether the text has been faithfully passed over time. Doubts are raised about whether various books were written by the person thought to be the author, and so on. While some may not have noticed this, there is and has been sustained attack on the reliability of the Bible.
That is consistent with the Devil’s original challenge to Eve, “Has God said?”
“Is the Bible really God’s Word? If so, then why do people claim there are mistakes in it? Does God make mistakes?”
“What if the Bible is just a collection of notable writings over time, but only the work of man?”
“Surely you don’t believe there really was a global flood, or divine creation, or heaven and hell, do you?”
Separate to the Devil’s desire to denigrate God’s Word, the other lesson from the temptation of Eve is how poorly she handled what God had clearly and simply instructed.
Note that when Eve replied to the Devil she changed what God had said.
“The woman answered the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But about the fruit of the tree in the centre of the garden, God said, You must not eat of it, or touch it, or you will die.” Genesis 3:2,3
God had never given a warning about ‘touching’ the forbidden fruit. God’s instruction was simpler than Eve said.
“You may freely eat from every tree of the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for in the day you eat of it you will surely die.” Genesis 2:17
Eve added to God’s word on the matter of the forbidden fruit. Maybe she thought stopping herself from even touching it would keep her safe. She was not faithful to God’s Word, but added her own thoughts to it. Did that protect her? No. She ate the forbidden fruit.
The Devil went on to say God was lying and God’s word was not a faithful word. Eve believed that, and the rest is history.
It is worth noting that the Apostle Paul specifically described his team as faithful to the word of God.
“We have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully” 2Corinthians 4:2
I encourage you to be careful in your handling of God’s Word. God’s Word is powerful and God’s truth will set you free. Love God’s Word, read and study it, memorise it, sing it and speak it, and as you do, honour God’s Word for what it is, not mishandling it.
And I urge you to take a stand, speaking your own words of affirmation of God’s Words, such as declaring …
“I believe the Bible to be the infallible, inspired Word of God, faithful and powerful in every detail, as the sword of the Holy Spirit and the words of life to my soul. I reject every doubt raised against it and every voice that mocks or undermines it. I choose to love it and live by it, making it my daily food and the reinforcement to my natural life and my eternal spiritual existence in God’s presence as God’s child.”