“The Word of God is Like a Hammer!”

Jeremiah 23:29

(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

We have already seen in the last three Gems how God’s …word is like a fire…” (Jeremiah 23:29). But that is only half the verse! Here is Jeremiah 23:29 in its entirety: “‘Is not My word like a fire?’ says the LORD, ‘and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?’

I read my available commentaries on Jeremiah 23:29, and most of the commentary authors seem to agree that God uses the hammer of His word to break the stubborn hearts of unbelievers! But first we must understand what ‘the heart’ meant to the ancient Israelites (from Eerdmanns, The New Bible Dictionary):

  • Old Testament – “Personality, inner life…or character in general….Volition of purpose….
  • New Testament – “…it is the seat of the will…the intellect…and of feeling. This means that ‘heart’ comes the nearest of the New Testament terms to mean ‘person’

Here are three examples of what I found in the commentaries:

  • Adam Clarke’s Commentary On The Bible – “…surely the hammer cannot break the rock in pieces, unless wielded by an able workman. And it is God’s Spirit alone that can thus apply it….
  • Robert Hawker – Poor Man’s CommentaryJesus’…accomplishment of…redemption… when taught…by God the Holy Ghost, will prove…that this word is as fire, and as the hammer…to break and to inflame…the souls of the hearers…with the truth of salvation.
  • Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible – “The unhumbled heart of man is like a rock; if it will not be melted by the word of God as the fire, it will be broken to pieces by it as the hammer.

Why does Matthew Henry write, “The unhumbled heart of man is like a rock…”? Perhaps he has in mind Ezekiel 36:24 through 27 – what the LORD told the prophet concerning the Israelites taken as captives to Assyria and Babylon:

For I will take you from among the nations, 
gather you out of all the countries, and 
bring you into your own land. Then I will 
sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall 
be clean; I will cleanse you from all your 
filthiness and from all your idols. I will 
give you a new heart and put a new spirit 
within you. I will take the heart of stone 
out of your flesh and give you a heart of 
flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and 
cause you to walk in My statutes, and you 
will keep my judgments and do them.

The heart of stone is resistant to the things of God! It is rock-hard, and nothing can break it open! Nothing,’ that is, except the hammer of God’s Word! Here is how the Bible describes the heart of the unsaved person:

  • Genesis 6:5 – “…the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
  • Ecclesiastes 9:3 – “Truly the hearts of the sons of men are full of evil; madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead.
  • Jeremiah 17:9 – “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?”
  • Matthew 15:18-20 – “…those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man….

In our featured Scripture, fire and rock are named in the same sentence. Adam Clark gives an appropriate illustration in his commentary (cited above):

"There may be an allusion to the practice 
in some mining countries, of roasting 
stones containing ore, before they are 
subjected to the hammer, in order to 
pulverize them....I have seen them roast 
the tin stones in the fire, before they 
placed them under the action of the ham-
mers in the stamp mill. The fire separ-
ated the arsenic from the ore, and then 
they were easily reduced to powder by 
the hammers...; afterwards, washing the 
mass with water, the grains of tin sank 
to the bottom, while the lighter parts 
went off with the water, and thus the 
metal was procured clean and pure."
  • The fire is perhaps a reference to trials that come to the life of every human being (see Isaiah 43:10; I Peter 4:12). Although the two references allude to the trials that God uses to purify the hearts and lives of believers (see James 1:2-4), the fire that touches the heart of the unbeliever can be used by the Lord to prepare that hard heart for the work of the Word’s hammer!
  • For the heart of stone must be broken (pulverized!) so the Holy Spirit can indwell a divinely created heart of flesh that is responsive to God.

Please, listen to and heed the Word of God,
Lest you have to be burnt again and again!
And that you must be then
hammered into His submission!

He loves you so much,
that He will not give up on you!

“The Word of God is Like a Fire!” – III

Luke 24:25-32

(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

I hadn’t planned on writing three Gems concerning “The Word of God is Like a Fire!” But I came upon a scene portrayed in the gospel of Luke that showed another aspect of this subject, and it was just too appropriate to ignore! Here is a shortened telling from Luke 24:25 through 32. But first, some background is needed:

  • Jesus had been wrongfully arrested, tried, condemned, and crucified the previous Friday. And His followers were devastated!
  • This was now Sunday afternoon, and two disciples were walking “…to a village called Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. And they talked together of all things which had happened [over the last several days].” (Luke 24:13, 14).
  • They were sad, devastated, and discouraged, and their countenance and conversation reflected that.
  • So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were restrained, so they did not know Him.” (Luke 24:15, 16).
  • The Lord asked them the reason for their sadness, and “…one whose name was Cleaopas answered, ‘Have You not known the things which happened…in Jerusalem…in these days’ ” (Luke 24:18).

Jesus feigned that He did not know, so Cleopas told Him:

  …concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was 
  a Prophet mighty in word and deed before 
  God and all the people, and…the chief 
  priests and our rulers delivered Him to 
  be condemned to death, and crucified 
  Him. But we were hoping that…He…was 
  going to deliver Israel….besides…today 
  is the third day since these things 
  happened. Yes, and certain women…as-
  tonished us…who arrived at the tomb…
  they did not find His body…[but they 
  told us] they had also seen a vision 
  of angels who said He was alive. And 
  certain of…us went to the tomb and 
  found it just as the women had said; 
  but Him they did not see.

The Lord’s followers just could not believe 
that Jesus rose from the dead!

Now we come to our featured Scripture, Luke 24:25 through 32, Jesus said to them…

  “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to 
  believe in all that the prophets have 
  spoken! Ought not the Christ to have 
  suffered these things and to enter in-
  to His glory? And beginning at Moses 
  and all the Prophets, He expounded to 
  them in all the Scriptures the things 
  concerning Himself.” (Luke 24:25-27). 

The two disciples were fascinated! They wanted to hear more! But as they neared Emmaus, Jesus gave the impression He was continuing on His journey. “But they constrained Him….And He went in to stay with them.” (Luke 24:28, 29).

  • They sat down to eat together. And “…as…He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them…their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.” (Luke 24:30, 31).
  • Luke 24:32 – “And they said to one another, ‘Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?

This is the third idea of‘Is not My word like a fire?’ says the LORD….” (Jeremiah 23:29). What did the fire of God’s word do for those two disciples at Emmaus?

  • The word of the Lord burned away the sadness, grief, doubts, and fears – and exchanged the negatives for joy, gladness, surety of the truth, confidence, calmness, and courage!
  • The disciples had told Jesus, “…the day is far spent.
    I would venture to say, these two 
     were also far spent, emotionally, 
     mentally, spiritually, as well as 
     physically! 

  But when the Lord revealed Himself 
     to them, they were re-energized, 
     emotionally, mentally, spiritually, 
     as well as physically! After all, 
     in verse 33 we are told, “So they 
     rose up that very hour and returned 
     [seven miles] to Jerusalem...!
  • Jesus is alive!And nothing could stop them now! The record of the Apostles and disciples proved just that!
    They spread the good news of the 
     living Lord across the known world! 

    Over the last almost 2,000 years, 
     millions upon millions of those ...who labor and are heavy laden
     ...” (Matthew 11:28) have found 
     rest, peace, joy, and eternal life 
     in Jesus Christ!

Does the Word of God burn in your heart, as you read and study your Bible? It should! Because the Holy Spirit…

  • …is “…another Comforter [One just like Jesus]….He shall teach you all things and bring into remembrance, whatever I have said to you.” (John 14:26 – Modern King James Version).
  • And that divinely energized Word will burn away sin, sadness, grief, doubts, and fears – and exchange the negatives for joy, gladness, surety of the truth, confidence, calmness, and courage!

Take in the Word!
Let it burn within you,
Setting your heart afire!

“The Word of God is Like a Fire!” – II

I Corinthians 3:11-15

(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

In the last Gem we heard the prophet Jeremiah complaining to God, “I have become a laughingstock all the day; everyone mocks me. For whenever I speak, I cry out, I shout, ‘Violence and destruction!’ For the word of the LORD has become for me a reproach and derision all day long.” (Jeremiah 20:7, 8 – English Standard Version). His prophetic message was that the Jews of the southern kingdom of Judah were…

  • …heedlessly continuing in their wickedness!
  • …about to see their precious city Jerusalem and its temple destroyed!
  • …headed for either a violent death or seventy years of captivity in Babylon!

Due to all the opposition Jeremiah was experiencing, he decided, “I will not make mention of Him, nor speak anymore in His name.” (Jeremiah 20:9).

  • How long he continued in his rash vow, we don’t know.
  • What he did experience after hearing the LORD’s pronouncement and not preaching it to the people was this: “…His word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back.” (Jeremiah 20:9).

I hope we learned this from the prophet’s dilemma: If…

  • …we take in God’s Word as Colossians 3:16 directs us, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…
  • …we…
✞  ...have... ...experienced the salvation of 
       Jesus Christ in our own lives......read of His love (see John 
       3:16) and His plainly stated 
       purpose in Luke 19:10, “...for 
       the Son of Man has come to seek 
       and to save that which was lost
       ...  ...then don’t give out the gospel to 
   others who need Him, we might become 
   like......Jeremiah!...His word was 
       in my heart like a burning 
       fire shut up in my bones; I 
       was weary of holding it back.” 
       (Jeremiah 20:9).

   ➔  ...David wrote in Psalm 32:3 
       and 4: “When I kept silent, my 
       bones grew old through my groan-
       ing all the day long. For day 
       and night Your hand was heavy 
       upon me....

Take in the Word of God!
Then give it out to those who need to hear!

But there is another aspect in which the Word of God is like a burning fire!

Jesus is identified as the Word of God in John 1:1, 2, and 14: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God….And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” (see also Revelation 19:13). In Revelation 1:13 through 16, the Apostle John saw a vision of Jesus in all His glory! I will emphasize just one characteristic of His glorified features: “…His eyes [were] like a flame of fire….” (Revelation 1:14).

Now let us consider what Paul wrote in I Corinthians 3:11 through 15:

   For no other foundation can anyone lay 
   than that which is laid, which is Jesus 
   Christ. Now if anyone builds on this 
   foundation with gold, silver, precious 
   stones, wood, hay, straw, each one's 
   work will become clear; for the Day 
   will declare it, because it will be re-
   vealed by fire; and the fire will test 
   each one's work, of what sort it is. If 
   anyone's work which he has built on it 
   endures, he will receive a reward. If 
   anyone's work is burned, he will suffer 
   loss; but he himself will be saved, yet 
   so as through fire.

The apostle is highlighting what will be taking place at the judgment of believers, also called “…the judgment seat of Christ.” (Romans 14:10 – see also II Corinthians 5:10).

  • Those who build on the foundation of Christ in their lives can use two kinds of building materials, according to I Corinthians 3:12:
...gold, silver, precious stones....” 
   These represent a life lived with deeds 
   that will last, and glorify the Lord! 
   This kind of life will receive eternal 
   rewards.

...wood, hay, straw....These are 
   selfish works, done for oneself and 
   one’s pleasure. This kind of life will 
   lay up no treasures in heaven (see 
   Matthew 6:19-21) and will bring no 
   rewards to the believer!
  • Both identified here are Christians who are saved by the blood of Jesus! But…
✞  ...one has eternal rewards in heaven! 
   (I Corinthians 3:14).

✞  ...the other has no eternal rewards 
   in heaven! (I Corinthians 3:15).

Which do you want to be?

But my question is, how are the works burned up that are so judged as …wood, hay, [and] straw…?

  • Remember the glorified Christ that John envisioned in Revelation chapter 1? “…His eyes [were] like a flame of fire….
  • I believe that all Jesus would have to do is look at the believer’s works, what he or she has built on the foundation of his or her saving faith in Jesus, and instantly…
✞  ...the Lord will know for whose glory 
   those works were done – His or our own!

✞  ...those works will either abide His 
   gaze or instantly be burned up!

Be careful, Christian, what you build
on the foundation of Jesus Christ!

…For the Word of God is like a fire!

“The Word of God is Like a Fire!” – I

Jeremiah 20:7-9

(English Standard Version)

(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

Jeremiah was called by God in 627 BC to prophesy to his fellow Jews, warning them of the soon-coming Babylonian captivity and the desolation of the kingdom of Judah. His ministry spanned not only the twenty-plus years leading up to that captivity, but he also prophesied during the Chaldean army’s siege of Jerusalem, three deportations of the city’s population (605, 597, and 586 BC), and the destruction of that capital city (including the burning of the sacred temple of the LORD). Jeremiah was then taken to Egypt against his will where he continued to give forth God’s word to the rebellious Jewish remnant until about 580 BC.

After almost fifty years of prophesying the difficult news of God’s judgment, the prophecies of which were mostly rejected by his hard-hearted countrymen who even tried to murder him, no wonder he is known asthe weeping prophet! (see Jeremiah 9:1; 13:7; Lamentations 2:11).

How did Jeremiah handle this difficult calling? Not very well at times! In Jeremiah 20:7 through 9 (English Standard Version) the prophet recorded an incident of wrong thinking:

   O LORD, you have deceived me, and I was 
   deceived; you are stronger than I, and 
   you have prevailed. I have become a 
   laughingstock all the day; everyone 
   mocks me. For whenever I speak, I cry 
   out, I shout, "Violence and destruc-
   tion!" For the word of the LORD has 
   become for me a reproach and derision 
   all day long....I will not mention him, 
   or speak any more in his name.... 

Who can blame him?

  • When God called him to prophesy, Jeremiah argued, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth.” (Jeremiah 1:6). But God assured him that “…I have put My words in your mouth. See, I have this day set you over the nations and…kingdoms, to root out and pull down, to destroy and to throw down, to build and to plant.” (Jeremiah 1:9, 10).
  • God continued in Jeremiah 1:19: “Do not be dismayed….For…I have made you…a fortified city…an iron pillar, and bronze walls against the whole land….They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail….For I am with you…to deliver you.
  • A typical example of the Jews unbelief and rejection of Jeremiah’s prophesy is found in Jeremiah chapters 42 and 43:
   ✡  Judah’s refugees asked the prophet 
      to discern if God wanted them to 
      flee to Egypt or stay in the land 
      under Babylon’s influence (see 
      Jeremiah 42:1-6). 

   ✡  When Jeremiah told them the LORD 
      directed them to stay in Judah 
      (see Jeremiah 42:9-22), the rem-
      nant replied, “You speak falsely! 
      The LORD our God has not sent 
      you to say...‘Do not go to Egypt
      ...’! (Jeremiah 43:2). And so 
      they went – and so they suffered!
  • In Jeremiah 16:2 through 4, God forbids Jeremiah to marry and have children, because,They shall die gruesome deaths….They shall be consumed by…sword and…famine, and their corpses shall be…for the birds…and…the beasts of the earth.
  • The lowest point in the prophet’s life was when…
   ✡  ...Jeremiah proclaimed this message 
      as the Babylonian army was besieging 
      Jerusalem: “Thus says the LORD: ‘He 
      who remains in this city shall die
      ...but he who goes over to the Chal-
      deans shall live....This city shall 
      surely be given into the hand of the 
      king of Babylon’s army...’” 
      (Jeremiah 38:2, 3). 

   ✡  ...some of the Jewish princes con-
      spired and demanded that Jeremiah be 
      put to death, and King Zedekiah gave 
      his consent! (see Jeremiah 38:4, 5).

   ✡  ...“So they took Jeremiah and cast 
      him into the dungeon [a cistern] in 
      the court of the prison, and they 
      let Jeremiah down with ropes. And 
      in the dungeon there was no water, 
      but mire. So Jeremiah sank in the 
      mire.” (Jeremiah 38:6).

   ✡  ...he was left there (we don’t know 
      for how long) to die of starvation 
      and thirst! But Ebed-Melech, an 
      Ethiopian eunuch rescued him! (see 
      Jeremiah 38:7-13).

Not all this had happened by the time Jeremiah 20:7 through 9 was penned. But enough negatives were experienced that Jeremiah lamented, “…the word of the LORD has become for me a reproach and derision all day long….I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name….It was then that the prophet experienced this effect of his decision:But His word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, and I could not.” (Jeremiah 20:9).

God’s Word is like …a burning fire…within! …if it is not then given out! There are two types of commands in the Bible that relate to this burning fire within:

  • The first type of command is this: we are to internalize the Word of God into our hearts and lives!
   In the New Testament we read...

      ➔  ...Colossians 3:16 – “Let the 
          word of Christ dwell in you 
          richly....”

      ➔  ...II Timothy 2:15 (Modern King 
          James Version) –  “Study earnest-
          ly to present yourself approved 
          to God, a workman that does not 
          need to be ashamed, rightly di-
          viding the Word of Truth.”

   ✡  In the Old Testament, Deuteronomy 
      11:18 through 20 (Good News Bible):

      Remember these commands and cher-
      ish them. Tie them on your arms 
      and wear them on your foreheads 
      as a reminder. Teach them to your 
      children. Talk about them when 
      you are at home and when you are 
      away, when you are resting and 
      when you are working. Write them 
      on the doorposts of your houses 
      and on your gates.

There are many more Scriptures that tell us to read, study, meditate upon, even memorize Scripture! (see for instance Job 23:12; Psalm 119:9-11; Jeremiah 15:16; Matthew 4:4; John 5:39; 17:17; II Timoty 3:16, 17; James 1:21, 22; I Peter 2:2; II Peter 1:3, 4).

  • The second type of command concerning the Word of God concerns sharing with those around us what God has revealed to us!
   In the New Testament, in...

      ➔  ...Mark 16:15, Jesus told His
          disciples, “Go into all the 
          world and preach the gospel 
          to every creature.”

      ➔  ...Acts 10:42, Peter told 
          Cornelius and his household, 
          “[Jesus]... commanded us to 
          preach to the people, and to 
          testify that it is He who was 
          ordained by God to be Judge 
          of the living and the dead.”

      ➔  ...II Timothy 4:2, Paul wrote 
          to Timoty, “Preach the word! 
          Be ready in season and out of 
          season. Convince, rebuke, ex-
          hort....” 

      ➔  ...I Peter 1:22-25, Peter re-
          minded his readers, “...you 
          have purified your souls in 
          obeying the truth....this is 
          the word by which the gospel 
          was preached to you.”

   ✡  In the Old Testament we are given 
      these instructions in...

      ➔  ...Psalm 119:13, “With my lips 
          I have declared all the judg-
          ments of Your mouth.” 

      ➔  ...Psalm 119:46, “I will speak 
          of your testimonies before kings 
          and will not be ashamed.”

      ➔  ...Psalm 145:4, “One generation 
          shall praise Your works to ano-
          ther, and shall declare Your 
          mighty acts.

Here is a sampling of more Scriptures telling us to proclaim God’s Word! (Matthew 10:7; Matthew 28:19, 20; Mark 6:12; Luke 24:47; Acts 8:35; Acts 13:38; Acts 18:28; Romans 10:17; I Corinthians 15:1, 2; Ephesians 3:8).

We are commanded to take in the Word of God! But if we don’t give out that Word after taking it in, the Lord just may Ignite a fire within us…

  • …as He did with Jeremiah!…His word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, and I could not.” (Jeremiah 20:9).
  • …as He did with David!…I held my peace even from good….My heart was hot within me; while I was musing the fire burned….” (Psalm 39:2, 3).

So take in the Word of God!
But give it out also…
…lest you get burned!

“The Word of God is Like Sown Seed!”

Mark 4:3-9

(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

Jesus taught the multitudes by the Sea of Galilee using parables (stories with a spiritual meaning). One parable he spoke was the Parable of the Sower recorded in Mark 4:3 through 9 (see also Matthew 13:3-9; Luke 8:5-8).

  “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. 
  And it happened, as he sowed, that some 
  seed fell by the wayside; and the birds 
  of the air came and devoured it. Some 
  fell on stony ground, where it did not 
  have much earth; and immediately it 
  sprang up because it had no depth of 
  earth. But when the sun was up it was 
  scorched, and because it had no root it 
  withered away. And some seed fell among 
  thorns; and the thorns grew up and 
  choked it, and it yielded no crop. But 
  other seed fell on good ground and 
  yielded a crop that sprang up, increas-
  ed and produced: some thirtyfold, some 
  sixty, and some a hundred....He who has 
  ears to hear, let him hear!”

In each Gospel record of the Lord teaching this parable, He also gave an interpretation a few verses later (see Matthew 13:18-23; Luke 8:11-15). But in Mark’s gospel, the interpretation He gave His disciples in Mark 8:13 through 20 reveals a lot about the Parable of the Sower, and is a key to all the other parables Jesus taught! For in verse 13 “…He said to [His disciples]… ‘Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables?’” For instance, in verse 14 Jesus explained in just a few words a significant key:The sower sows the word.” Therefore, The Word of God is Like a Seed Sown!

Who is sowing the Word of God?

  • In this case, the seed is sown by Jesus Himself! He is preaching the Word of God! (In the picture above, did you notice the nail print in the Sower’s wrist?)
  • But in Mark 6:7 through 13, He sent out His twelve disciples with that same mission: “So they went out and preached that people should repent.” (Mark 6:13).
  • Later (as recorded in Luke 10:1 through 16), He sent out more followers:
  After these things the Lord appointed 
  seventy others also, and sent them two 
  by two...into every...place where He 
  Himself was about to go.... “Heal the 
  sick who are there, and say to them, 
  ‘The kingdom of God has come near to 
  you’....He who hears you hears Me, he 
  who rejects you rejects Me, and he who 
  rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me.” 
  • Today (and through the centuries since Pentecost – the birth of the Church), as the Apostle Paul wrote in I Corinthians 12:27, “Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.”
  ✞  Every believer in the Lord Jesus 
     Christ is part of His body – the 
     only body He now has upon the 
     earth! 

  ✞  As Jesus sowed the seed (the Word 
     of God) so are we to sow the seed 
     in this sinful world!

Just as a seed will germinate, grow, and produce fruit when planted in proper soil, so the Word of God…

  • …will germinate in the hearts and lives of people made ready by the Spirit to receive it!
  • …will grow and mature to be more and more like the One who produced that seed!
  • …will result in fruit,…some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.” (Mark 4:8).

Can you imagine the harvest if each Christian during his or her lifetime upon this earth produced a fruitful harvest of from thirty to one hundred souls brought into the kingdom of God?

In Isaiah 55:10 and 11 the LORD God says this:

  For as the rain comes down, and the snow 
  from heaven, and do not return there, But 
  water the earth, and make it bring forth 
  and bud, that it may give seed to the 
  sower and bread to the eater, so shall My 
  word be that goes forth from My mouth; it 
  shall not return to Me void, but it shall 
  accomplish what I please, and it shall 
  prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

The seed, the Word of God, is living and powerful!
We just have to give it out…
planting it in the hearts and lives of people

“The Word of God is Like Good Food!”

Jeremiah 15:16

(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

The little fella in the photo seems to be hungry! He is nibbling on a Gideon New Testament!

  • The Gideons have engaged in amazing work for well over a century!
   Founded in 1899 as a Christian asso-
      ciation for men by two salesmen in 
      Janesville, Wisconsin. The ministry 
      started distributing Scriptures free 
      of charge nine years later in 1908 
      when they placed Bibles in rooms of 
      the Superior Hotel in Superior 
      Montana.  

   One hundred and sixteen years since 
      that first distribution, they are ac-
      tively distributing complete Bibles, 
      New Testaments, and Scripture por-
      tions printed in over 108 languages 
      in 200 countries, territories, and 
      possessions!

   By the end of 2,022, the Gideons had 
      given out over two-and-a-half billion 
      printed Scriptures!

   ✞  The Gideons have now developed a 
      Bible app for iOS and Android de-
      vices. The app had Bible transla-
      tions in 3,989 languages as of 
      2022, including 724 translations 
      of the complete Bible.
  • But sorry, young man, I don’t think the Gideons encourage physically eating the Word of God!

However, it does seem like the prophet Jeremiah encourages this! Here is what he wrote in Jeremiah 15:16, “Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; for I am called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts.Did Jeremiah actually eat the scroll upon which his secretary Baruch wrote the words God gave to the prophet? No, but he did internalize those words! This is important because Jeremiah then gave out those divine words during the times and conditions in which he prophesied.

According to the introduction of Nelson Publishers’ The New Open Bible, Jeremiah’s “…ministry stretched from 627 B.C. to about 580 B.C.” These dates comprise the last 48 years of the Southern kingdom of Judah.

  • Jeremiah was commissioned by God during the reign of King Josiah, the last godly king of Judah. Four kings reigned after Josiah, all godless rulers until, during the reign of King, Zedekiah, the final deportation of the Jews to Babylon took place, leaving Jerusalem sacked and burned!
  • During that almost half-century, Jeremiah had to warn the kings and the people of the Southern kingdom of their wicked ways, and the resulting disasters that the LORD was visiting upon them!
  • Because of his unpleasant message of divine judgment, the prophet was often vilified, persecuted, rejected, and condemned even to imprisonment and attempted murder!
  • Jeremiah is called “the weeping prophet” because he shed so many tears over the godless condition of his people, knowing the judgment they were bringing upon themselves! Jeremiah 9:1 through 3 is typical of his sorrow over the painful message he had to proclaim:
       Oh, that my head were waters, and 
       my eyes a fountain of tears, that 
       I might weep day and night for the 
       slain of the daughter of my people! 
       Oh, that I had in the wilderness a 
       lodging place for wayfaring men; 
       that I might leave my people, and 
       go from them! For they are all adul-
       terers, an assembly of treacherous 
       men. “And like their bow they have 
       bent their tongues for lies. They 
       are not valiant for the truth on 
       the earth. For they proceed from 
       evil to evil, and they do not know 
       Me,” says the LORD.

But amidst of the constant pain and sorrow this man of God was experiencing, he found the very thing that was causing all the pain and sorrow (the word of the LORD) was “…the joy and rejoicing of my heart…Jeremiah found those words God had given him, and he ate them! He internalized them! And God nourished the weeping prophet with joy and rejoicing!

And so for Jeremiah (as it should be for us)…

…the Word of God is like
nourishing spiritual food!

Jeremiah was not the only Biblical person who ate the Word!

  • Job, in the midst of his multiple trials and the accusations of his ‘friends’, cried out in self-defense,I have not departed from the commandments of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.” (Job 23:12).
  • Ezekiel was commanded by God to…
       “...open your mouth and eat what I 
       give you....” Now when I looked, 
       there was a hand stretched out to 
       me; and behold, a scroll of a book 
       was in it...and written on it were 
       lamentations and mourning and woe
       ....He said to me, “...eat this 
       scroll, and go, speak to the house 
       of Israel.” So I opened my mouth, 
       and He caused me to eat that scroll
       ....And He said to me, “...go to 
       the house of Israel and speak My 
       words to them.” (Ezekiel 2:8-3:4).
  • Paul wrote to the church at Colossae (in South-Western Asia Minor) and told them, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…” (Colossians 3:16). The idea he was expressing was that they were to take in Scripture and let it richly dwell in them – that is, let it take up residence in them!
  • John, in the book of Revelation had a similar experience as did Ezekiel. He was told by a “…voice…from heaven… ‘…take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel….’ And I went to the angel and said to him, ‘Give me the little book.’ And he said…’ Take and eat it….’ And I took [it]…and ate it…” (Revelation 10:8-10).

If…

  • …you do not regularly feed on nourishing food you will become malnourished, weak, and sick! And you might even die! You will be no use to yourself or your loved ones!
  • …you do not regularly feed on God’s Word the Bible, your faith, with which you connect with the Lord and by which you serve Him, will be malnourished and grow weak with spiritual sickness! You will be no use to God and other believers!

Let the Word of Christ
dwell in you richly
!

“The Word of God is Like a Sharp Sword!”

Hebrews 4:12, 13

(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

The Word of God is like a sharp sword!” But that doesn’t do Hebrews 4:12 and 13 full justice:

   ...the word of God is living and pow-
   erful, and sharper than any two-edged 
   sword, piercing even to the division 
   of soul and spirit, and of joints and 
   marrow, and is a discerner of the 
   thoughts and intents of the heart. 
   And there is no creature hidden from 
   His sight, but all things are naked 
   and open to the eyes of Him to whom 
   we must give an account.

You see…

  • …a sharp sword can pierce…to the division…of joints and marrow….” Throughout history it has done that many times, severing arms, hands, necks, and so on. It usually depends upon the skill of the sword handler.
  • But “…the word of God is sharper…! It can divide the soul of a person from his or her spirit!
   There are two views among Christian 
      theologians concerning the makeup 
      of human beings:

      ➔  A person is said to be dichoto-
          mous if he or she is considered 
          to consist of two parts, a body 
          and a soul/spirit. The soul and 
          spirit are believed to be the 
          same entity.

      ➔  A person is regarded as trichot-
          omous if he or she is considered 
          to be made up of body, soul, and 
          spirit. The soul and spirit are 
          distinct parts of every human 
          being.

   ✞  I am a trichotomist! I believe the 
      Bible teaches that each person is 
      made up of...

      ➔  ...a body – our physical being.

      ➔  ...a soul – that which defines 
          who we are, our minds from which 
          come our thoughts, emotions, 
          personality, beliefs, etc.

      ➔  ...a human spirit – the part of 
          us that allows us to be connect-
          ed to our Creator.

I believe the Bible teaches we are trichotomous (tri-partaite) beings.

  • I Corinthians 2:14 – “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually concerned.
   The natural man...”

      ➔  ...is spiritually dead,...
          dead in trespasses and sins
          ...without God in the world.” 
          (Ephesians 2:1, 12). This one 
          cannot “...receive the things 
          of the Spirit of God....” 
          (I Corinthians 2:14). 

      ➔  ...considers (thinks with the 
          mind) “...the things of the 
          Spirit of God....as being 
          foolish!

The two (human spirit and mind) are separate!

  • In the extended passage of I Corinthians chapters 12 through 14, Paul is writing concerning Spiritual gifts. While not belaboring the discussion of whether the nine gifts featured in I Corinthians 12:8-10 are valid for today (I believe they are), I want to focus on verse 14 in chapter 14 of I Corinthians: “For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful.The human spirit is seen as separate from the human understanding (the mind see above).
  • I Thessalonians 5:23 – “Now the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body [three separate parts of the human being] be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Hebrews 4:12 (part of our featured Scripture) – “…the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit…” If the soul and spirit in a human being are one and the same, how can that one be divided?

But there is a problem: As pointed out above in Ephesians 2:1, 12, The person who has not received Jesus Christ as his or her Savior and had their sins forgiven, is spiritually dead, “…dead in trespasses and sins…without God in the world.The only way that one can gain spiritual life is through opening their heart and life to the Savior! As it is written in I John 5:11 through 13:

   And this is the testimony: that God 
   has given us eternal life, and this 
   life is in His Son [Jesus]. He who 
   has the Son has life; he who does 
   not have the Son does not have life. 
   These things I have written to you 
   who believe on the name of the Son 
   of God, that you may know that you 
   have eternal life....

A person with a dead human spirit (“…dead in trespasses and sins…”) cannot and will not be admitted into eternal life!

Now I want to highlight the second half of our featured Scripture, the last part of Hebrews 4:12, and verse 13:

   ...the word of God...is a discerner 
   of the thoughts and intents of the 
   heart. And there is no creature hid-
   den from His sight, but all things 
   are naked and open to the eyes of 
   Him to whom we must give an account.

I believe Word in the word of God above ought to be capitalized because it refers to Jesus Christ!

  • John 1:1 and 14 – “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God….And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us….
  • I John 1:1 and 2 – “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life — for the life was with the Father and was manifested to us.

Jesus, being the Word of God, being God Himself, the omniscient [all-knowing] God…

  • …can discern…the thoughts and intents of the heart…of people (according to Hebrews 4:12). As it says in Psalm 139:1 through 4: “O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways.
  • …(according to Hebrews 4:13) “…there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give an account.

Psalm 139:7 through 16 goes on to say:

   Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or 
   where can I flee from Your presence? 
   If I ascend into heaven, You are 
   there; if I make my bed in hell, be-
   hold, You are there. If I take the 
   wings of the morning, and dwell in 
   the uttermost parts of the sea, even 
   there Your hand shall lead me, And 
   Your right hand shall hold me. If I 
   say, “Surely the darkness shall fall 
   on me,” even the night shall be light 
   about me; indeed, the darkness shall 
   not hide from You, but the night 
   shines as the day; the darkness and 
   the light are both alike to You. For 
   You formed my inward parts; You cov-
   ered me in my mother's womb. I will 
   praise You, for I am fearfully and 
   wonderfully made; marvelous are Your 
   works, And that my soul knows very 
   well. My frame was not hidden from 
   You, when I was made in secret, and 
   skillfully wrought in the lowest 
   parts of the earth. Your eyes saw 
   my substance, being yet unformed. 
   And in Your book they all were 
   written, the days fashioned for me, 
   when as yet there were none of them.
  • The Christian should take heart and comfort from our Savior being the all-knowing, all-seeing God!
  • The unbeliever should be frightened beyond words at such a truth!

One more thought in closing: As Jesus Christ is the living Word, so the written Word, the Bible, is also living! For the LORD dynamically uses that Word to probe deep into our trichotomous being (spirit, soul, and body) to make us more and more like Himself!

Get in the Word!
The living Word and the written Word!
And God will do His work
in your body, soul, and spirit!

How To Have Beautiful Feet!

Isaiah 52: 7; Romans 10:13-15

(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

Beautiful feet? What has this to do with spiritual things? It has a lot to do with spiritual things!

In the Old Testament, Isaiah prophesied in Isaiah 52:7 about beautiful feet a hundred years before its fulfillment:

   How beautiful upon the mountains are 
   the feet of him who brings good news, 
   who proclaims peace, who brings glad 
   tidings and good things, who proclaims 
   salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God 
   reigns!”

The Hebrew word for beautiful is נאה )pronounced naw-aw’ (meaning, “…to be comely, be beautiful, be fitting…” (Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Definitions). It is used two other times in the Old Testament:

  • Psalm 93:5 – “Your testimonies are very sure; holiness adorns [naw-aw’] Your house, O LORD, forever.
  • Song of Solomon 1:10 – King Solomon in describing his lovely Shulamite bride says, “Your cheeks are lovely [naw-aw’] with ornaments, your neck with chains of gold.”

Albert Barnes, in his Notes on the Bible, writes concerning this verse:

   The meaning here seems to be this: 
   Isaiah was describing the certain 
   return of the Jews to their own 
   land. He sees in vision the heralds 
   announcing their return to Jerusalem 
   running on the distant hills. A her-
   ald bearing good news is a beautiful 
   object; and he says that his feet 
   are beautiful; that is, his running 
   is beautiful. He came to declare 
   that the long and painful captivity 
   [the seventy-year Babylonian captiv-
   ity] was closed, and that the holy 
   city and its temple were again to 
   rise with splendor, and that peace 
   and plenty and joy were to be spread 
   over the land. Such a messenger 
   coming with haste, the prophet says, 
   would be a beautiful object. 

It wasn’t so much that the herald’s feet were beautiful, but the message that his feet were hastening to bring was beautiful!

The use of this Hebrew word in Isaiah 52:7, as described above, refers to couriers carrying the news to the sacked and burnt city of Jerusalem that the Persian king Cyrus had issued a proclamation:

   “Who is there among you of all His 
   people...[of] the LORD God of hea-
   ven[?]....Now let him go up to 
   Jerusalem...and build the house of 
   the LORD God of Israel...And whoever 
   remains in any place [in the Persian 
   kingdom] where he sojourns, let the 
   men of his place help him with sil-
   ver and gold, with goods and live-
   stock, besides the freewill offer-
   ings for the house of God which is 
   in Jerusalem.” (Ezra 1:2-4).

This was joyful and beautiful news! And so the messengers who bore that proclamation were said to have beautiful feet!

The Apostle Paul picks up this same idea of beautiful feet in Romans 10:13 through 15, quoting first from Joel 2:32 and then from Isaiah 52:6:

   For “whoever calls upon the name of 
   the Lord shall be saved.” How then 
   shall they call on Him in whom they 
   have not believed? And how shall 
   they believe in Him of whom they 
   have not heard? And how shall they 
   hear without a preacher? And how 
   shall they preach unless they be 
   sent? As it is written: “How beau-
   tiful are the feet of those who 
   preach the gospel of peace, who 
   bring glad tidings of good things?”

With Joel’s quote, the apostle expands on what Isaiah prophesied well beyond its application to the Jews’ return to Jerusalem after the Babylonian captivity! For he had just written in Romans 10:9 through 13 the key for an individual to enter into the Christian faith:

   ...that if you confess with your 
   mouth the Lord Jesus and believe 
   in your heart that God has raised 
   Him from the dead, you will be 
   saved. For with the heart one be-
   lieves to righteousness, and with 
   the mouth confession is made to 
   salvation....For “whoever calls 
   upon the name of the LORD shall 
   be saved.” (verses 9, 10, 13 – 
   most of verse 13 is quoted from 
   Joel 2:32).

The good news that Christians are now commanded to carry is the gospel of Jesus Christ!

  • Romans 10:13 – “For ‘whoever calls upon the name of the LORD shall be saved.’
  • John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
  • John 5:24 – Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.
  • Acts 16:31 – “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.
  • Romans 6:23 – “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  • I John 5:11-13:
   ...this is the testimony; that God 
   has given us eternal life, and this 
   life is in His Son. He who has the 
   Son has life; he who does not have 
   the Son of God does not have life. 
   These things I have written to you 
   who believe in the name of the Son 
   of God, that you may know that you 
   have eternal life....

This is good news!
If you proclaim it to others,
You too will have beautiful feet!

“I Forgive You”

Mark 11:25, 26

(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

The featured Scripture is one of the hardest to understand! And once understood, it is one of the hardest to carry out – Mark 11:25 and 26 in which Jesus tells His followers:

  And whenever you stand praying, if 
  you have anything against anyone, 
  forgive him, that your Father in 
  heaven may also forgive you your 
  trespasses. But if you do not for-
  give, neither will your Father in 
  heaven forgive your trespasses.

Does this mean that if I don’t forgive someone, even if I have accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior, I will be condemned by God and sent to hell? NO! This warning is for those who might falsely be relying on God’s forgiveness, but refuse to forgive other human beings of lesser offenses, much less than those of their own sins against the LORD of all!

How does this all work out? Jesus explained it this way in the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant in Matthew 18:23 through 35. The Scripture is too long to reproduce here, but I will highlight what Jesus taught:

  • It is based on Peter’s questioning Jesus, “…how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” (Matthew 18:21).
    ✡  The rabbis taught that one 
       only needed to forgive the 
       same offense three times!

    ✡  Peter probably thought he 
       was being magnanimous by 
       suggesting more than double 
       the rabbinical requirement!Jesus answer must have as-
       tounded the disciples:I 
       do not say to you, up to 
       seven times, but up to sev-
       enty times seven [490 times 
       of forgiveness for the same 
       offense committed again and 
       again]...”! (Matthew 18:22). 

And then He launched into this parable:

  • A man was brought before the king who owed his regent almost 250 million dollars in today’s money! Not being able to pay, the king ordered him and his family sold into slavery!
  • The debtor pleaded for more repayment time, but instead the merciful king forgave the entire debt!
  • The forgiven man then left “…and found one…who owed him a hundred denarii [about $280 in today’s money]….” (Matthew 18:28).
    ✡  Treating his debtor roughly, 
       he demanded to be immediately 
       paid!

    ✡  Using the same words the for-
       given man had used before the 
       king, the debtor pleaded, 
       “Have patience with me, and I 
       will pay you all.” (Matthew 
       18:29).

    ✡  ...to no avail! The creditor 
       of this comparatively small 
       amount promptly had him thrown 
       into prison!
  • The unforgiving man’s fellows told the king what happened. Brought again before his sovereign, the king retracted his gracious offer of forgiveness!
    ✡  “You wicked servant, I forgave 
       you all that debt because you 
       begged me. Should you not have 
       had compassion on your fellow 
       servant, just as I had pity on 
       you?” (Matthew 18:32, 33).

    ✡  The king was so angry that he 
       “...delivered him to the tor-
       turers until he should pay all 
       that [he owed – an impossible 
       task]...”! (Matthew 18:34).
  • Jesus then closed His parable with this sobering statement: “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.” (Matthew 18:35).

An ongoing lack of forgiveness toward others often will indicate two very serious problems:

  • First – That unforgiving person has never received the forgiveness of God! Oh, they might have gone through the motions of receiving Jesus as their Savior, of having had their sins forgiven. But a mouth confession or an insincere prayer of acceptance does not mean that one is a genuine Christian!
    ✡  Insincerity can accompany any 
       apparent decision, but, as we 
       are told in I Samuel 16:7, 
       “...the LORD does not see as 
       man sees; for man looks on the 
       outward appearance, but the 
       LORD looks at the heart.It is as Paul wrote in I Cor-
       inthians 4:5, “...the Lord...
       will...bring to light the hid-
       den things of darkness and 
       reveal the counsels of the 
       hearts....
  • Second – That person may indeed have received Christ as his or her Savior. But he or she has not yet come to an understanding of the extent of forgiveness that Jesus offers us by His sacrifice on the cross!
    Upon that cross, “...He...
       who knew no sin...[was] made 
       sin for us....All the sins 
       (all injustices against God’s 
       holy nature) for all human 
       beings since the beginning 
       of time until the end, were 
       loaded upon the holy person 
       of Jesus Christ!

    ✞  He died, paying the complete 
       price for every sin that you 
       and I have ever committed, or 
       will ever commit!

    ✞  Then He rose again from the 
       dead, proof that the Father 
       accepted that payment for 
       sin on our behalf!

    When we receive Jesus as our 
       Savior, we are totally for-
       given and accepted by God the 
       Father on the Son’s behalf...
       forever! (see Ephesians 1:6).

I can’t imagine the weight of my sins that Jesus bore on Calvary’s cross! But it was much more than any sin or offense that anyone could commit against you or me!

  • What I am commanded to do to forgive another person (even 490 times) is so much less than what Jesus did to forgive me – no matter how grievous to me that offense appears to be!
  • If we refuse to forgive others, it means one of two things:
      ...either I have not received 
       Jesus’ forgiveness by accepting 
       Him as my Savior. In that case, 
       I have not experienced being 
       totally forgiven and so I do 
       not know how to forgive others! 
       If I continue in this state I 
       will ultimately be “...delivered
       ...to the torturers [forever]...
       in the lake which burns with 
       fire and brimstone, which is 
       the second death...! (Matthew 
       18:34; Revelation 21:8).   

    ✞  ...or I have not learned the 
       extent of my sin against God 
       and what Jesus had to experi-
       ence so I could be forgiven 
       even though I have received 
       Him as my Savior. I need to 
       grow in my understanding of 
       His sacrifice. 

When either one of these issues is resolved, issues that are standing in the way of my forgiving people, I will then be ready to forgive others their comparatively minor infractions against me!

The ‘Lord’s Prayer’ is what Jesus gave to His disciples when they requested in Luke 11:1, “Lord, teach us to pray….” This prayer is repeated twice in the gospels, in Matthew 6:9 through 13 and in Luke 11:2 through 4. Both times this model prayer contains in its midst these similar words:

  • Matthew 6:12 – “…forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
  • Luke 11:4 – “…forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.

In Matthew’s account, Jesus followed the Lord’s Prayer with this warning in verses 14 and 15: “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

The Apostle Paul echos what Jesus said in Ephesians 4:32, “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you.

Would anyone want to stand before God still bearing the sin of being unforgiving?

Experience His forgiveness!
Then forgive others!

A ‘Book-Smacked’ Miracle!

Genesis 50:15-20

(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

Ok, it wasn’t easy to find a picture that depicts my brother George smacking me over the head with a book! This is the closest representation I managed to come up with! However, I was about the age of these two children when I got ‘Book-Smacked’! I don’t remember what I did or said to anger my older brother, but angry he was, and he took his anger out on me by smacking me over the head with a large book!

Now, how can that lead to a miracle? It can only happen with God’s intercession! You see, I developed a headache! And the headache grew more severe by the time evening approached. My mother called our family doctor, W. Bradford Walker. He was an old-time physician who made house calls when needed, as well as maintaining regular patient hours at his office.

I remember his concern as he examined me. He then told my mother that to the best of his knowledge, I had contracted encephalitis, and a particular dangerous form of the disease called encephalitis lethargica or ‘sleeping sickness’!

  • From the Mayo Clinic website (www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/encephalitis/ symptoms-causes/syc-20356136): “Encephalitis…is inflammation of the brain….In some cases, encephalitis can be life-threatening. Prompt diagnosis and treatment are important because it’s difficult to predict how encephalitis will affect each individual.
  • From the Britannica website (www.britannica.com/science/encephalitis): “…mortality [depending on the type of encephalitis] can be as high as 70 percent.
  • From BBC News (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3930727.stm):
  Encephalitis Lethargica was a devas-
  tating illness that swept the world 
  in the 1920's. It attacked the brain, 
  leaving victims like living statues, 
  speechless and motionless. During 
  the outbreak, nearly a million died, 
  and millions more were left frozen 
  inside their useless bodies, in in-
  stitutions.

My symptoms of this disease that I remember included…

  • …excruciating headaches, fever, and body aches early in the encephalitic progression.
  • …excessive sleeping.
  ➔  I would be conscious and inter-
      acting with my family while 
      bedded down on the living room 
      couch.

  ➔  Suddenly I would turn very pale 
      and go off to sleep.........for 
      two or three days!
  • …bodily weakness that kept me in bed for days on end!

What delivered me from the physical/mental incapacitations and even death resulting from encephalitis lethargica? It was a ‘book-smacked’ miracle!

  • When my brother hit me over the head with a large book, it brought out the symptoms earlier than the normal progression of the disease.
  • Dr. Walker correctly identified the cause of my symptoms and began to treat me with proper medications that first night.

It took me more than a month to recuperate. I remember one nice day in the Spring of 1953 when I was feeling much stronger. My mother permitted me to go outside. I walked about half a mile down the road from our farm, climbed down an embankment, and sat by a brook flowing with Spring rains. It felt so good to be alive, and I marveled at the beauty of God’s creation!

The only effect that I remember from my encounter with encephalitis lethargica was that my stimulus reaction time was slightly slowed for a couple of years until it normalized.

A ‘Book-Smacked’ Miracle!
Sometimes God uses the strangest means
to bless us!