Thursday, May 17, 2007


By W.F. Bell

We are told there are some three-quarter million "words" in the Bible. I have never counted them. The word "and" is supposed to be in the Bible over 46,000 times. The longest word in Scripture is "Mahershalalhashbaz" (Isaiah 8:1). "Grandmother" occurs only once (2 Timothy 1:5). Many words are not in the Bible that people think are, like "Christmas," "purgatory," and "sermon." Common phrases and sayings, like "Every tub must stand on its own bottom," and "Let your conscience be your guide," are not in the Bible.
I do often like to get out a dictionary, and just look over different words. Like "ephapse." Anyone ever use that word? It means "the place where two lateral axons touch each other." But, unless you know Physiology, that definition doesn't help much. "Words" are vehicles of thoughts, but the question must often be asked, "What does that word mean?" What are "axons"? We are often in the dark in our understanding.
There are over 150 words in the above two paragraphs. What's my point here? Words! We use them everyday, and don't often think about it. According to the dictionary there are some eleven different meanings of the word "word." Then, we have expressions like, "beyond words," "in so many words," "eat one's words," and "you took the words out of my mouth." The Bible is called "God's word," and it is interesting that the first usage of "word" in Scripture is Genesis 15:1, stating "After these things the WORD of the LORD came to Abram in a vision," etc. And how interesting that the Bible closes with emphasis upon what God has "recorded" in His "word," stating "Blessed is he who reads, and they who hear the WORDS of this prophecy, and keep those things which are WRITTEN therein; for the time is at hand" (Revelation 1:3) "And He said to me, Write, for these WORDS are true and faithful" (21:5). Then, the warning is given not to add to or take from "the WORDS of the book of this prophecy" (22:18-19).
So, God the Sovereign Creator has communicated to man (His creation) in "words," and even our Lord Jesus Christ is called "THE WORD OF GOD" (Revelation 19:13), or "THE WORD" who "became flesh and dwelt among us" (John 1:1, 14). All of this is to further emphasize the great importance of words, and their meanings. But then we have those who argue if God's "words" are truly "inspired," and exactly what is the meaning of "inspiration" (2 Timothy 3:16). Again, see the importance of words. We must have intelligent understanding of "words" if they are to benefit us or help us. We live in a day when "words" are being changed, with new "spin" put on their meanings.
"A fool also is FULL of words" (Ecclesiastes 10:14). The problem with that verse is, Who is "a fool"? We don't like to use that word, and we don't like to be called "foolish." But we learn the meaning of one word by the use of another: "The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow him up" (Ecclesiastes 10:12). So, we know a person is "foolish" who is unwise with his words, for "The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd" (Ecclesiastes 12:11). Our Savior spoke "gracious words" (Luke 4:22) because He was "full of grace and truth" (John 1:14). "The officers said, Never man spake like this Man" (John 7:46). And Jesus says plainly, "He who is of God HEARS God's WORDS" (John 8:47).
"Also take no heed unto ALL words that are spoken" (Ecclesiastes 7:21). Don't pay attention to everything people say! Why? Because we ourselves have said things we should not have said (v. 22), and we are always glad when unwise, unkind things we have said (and thought) were forgotten or taken "no heed to." We hear things all the time that are "wordy" and "useless." It's best to act like we never heard them, or at least respond back with "few words." "Do not be rash with your mouth, and let not your HEART be hasty to utter anything before God. For God is in heaven, and you upon earth; therefore let your words be few" (Ecclesiastes 5:2).
The Queen of Sheba, after hearing of Solomon's fame "concerning the name of the LORD, she came to prove him with hard questions" (I Kings 10:1). After visiting him, seeing "all of Solomon's wisdom," and Solomon solving "all her questions," it is recorded, "And she said to the king, It was A TRUE REPORT that I heard in my own land of your acts and of your wisdom. Howbeit I believed not the WORDS until I came and saw with my own eyes; and indeed the half was not told me" (vv. 6-7). Hopefully, by grace, we all can say the same about the glories of our Lord Jesus Christ (our greater Solomon), for He alone has "THE WORDS OF ETERNAL LIFE" (John 6:68). "To whom shall we go" but to HIM, remembering Hosea 14:2 -- "TAKE with you WORDS, and TURN to the LORD. SAY unto HIM, Take away all iniquity; receive us graciously." Take! Turn! Say! Surely these are "ACCEPTABLE WORDS," and "WORDS OF TRUTH" (Ecclesiastes 12:10).
Taking heed to my own "words" here, "Better is the END of a thing than its beginning" (Ecclesiastes 7:8). Finis.

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