An old writing assignment launched me into a biblical study on the power of words. When I do a topical study, I enjoy saturating myself with every scripture I can find on the matter. Those that are directly related and verses that have an indirect correlation. Sometimes I am surprised at where the study culminates and other times it reaffirms truth already in me by God’s presence.
This time I found my subject matter to be quite broad. Therefore, I began to categorize verses that mentioned words. For my purpose, I grouped them into four categories:
1. God’s words and the Word of God
2. Negative use of words
3. Contrast comparisons i.e. good/bad
4. Positive use of words
My study of this topic is not exhaustive. I was struck by the large volume of references on this subject and recognized that in-depth research would take an enormous amount of time. You may know of other categories to fit this topic. This writing glosses the surface, hitting only highlights of what I learned over the course of a brief study.
It may help to understand how I approach a topical study. First, I use a concordance and computer to find every passage/verse that contains the topic I am researching. Next, I use a dictionary. I look up words from passages that I want to delve deeper into. I often look up words I am familiar with and already know its definition. Checking a dictionary definition and pondering it in the context of a passage often gives a subtle perspective I may have missed without this step. When I am doing a very thorough study, I will look up words or passages in the original Greek or Hebrew. I did not do that with this writing.
The Bible has much to say about God’s word(s). Many of those can be found in the book of Psalms. During my research, I noticed a recurring descriptive – pure.
“The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in an earthen furnace, purified seven times” (Psalm 12:6, CSB).
“God–his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is pure. He is a shield to all who take refuge in him” (Psalm 18:30, CSB).
“Your word is completely pure, and your servant loves it” (Psalm 119:140, CSB).
“Every word of God is pure; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him” (Proverbs 30:5, CSB)
Once I noticed the repetitive use of the word pure, I checked the definitions of “pure” in a dictionary.
• free from any adulterant; not mixed with any other substance
• free from anything that taints, impairs, infects, etc.; free of any contamination
• free from defects; perfect; faultless
The definitions above rightly describe the words of God. I will leave the other categories for future devotionals so that I don’t meander in too many directions. It is my desire is to keep this writing focused on the purity of God and His word.
For Further Study
Reread the verses above and meditate upon God’s word being PURE! Do any of the dictionary definitions cause you to think about God’s word in a fresh way?
Father God, thank You for giving words that are pure. You are God who is perfect, faultless and without sin – You are pure. You are the Living Word and through the Holy Spirit, You reside in me, I pray You will keep my thoughts and actions pure and holy. Use my lips to speak of things that are pure, just, and righteous bringing glory to Your name forever.
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Scripture quotation added by Manette Kay.