Images-1The Hebrew word dahbar is used to describe God's word in the Old Testament. Dahbar means much more than a sound in our ear or a thought in our head. It is used to describe the power of Yahweh in creating the world. Dahbar is a creative word. It is, in other words, "word-event." God's word never leaves the listener to same. When a word from God is received with an open mind and teachable spirit the person who hears is gently, and powerfully, changed. Most of us hear the Bible read in church, or read it quietly each day, but few of us actually encounter the dahbar on a regular basis.

In Jesus Christ God spoke this deepest Word to Jesus. Jesus became dahbar incarnate. The humanity of Jesus was the full manifestation of all that God is. And every word Jesus spoke was God's word. This is why we need to read the four Gospels with a different attentiveness to "hearing his voice." (I am not suggesting the rest of Scripture is not the Word of God!)

Because Jesus speaks the Word of God to us, because he is the living Word among us, the New Testament still speaks God's word to us. This is why Paul told Timothy that every word of Scripture can instruct us, correct us, teach us and equip us. And every word of Scripture is saying, very powerfully, "I love you!" It says this in many different ways, sometimes warning us and urging us to repent. But this is what it says because God cannot speak any other word since God is love. 

God's word is like seed. It drops into our lives and germinates within us initiating life and faith within us. Peter says that we are "born anew . . . through the living and enduring word of God." And Paul said to the Colossians, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly." These statements clearly mean that Holy Scripture can transform us because we are hearing God's Word from God himself. 

When we read the Bible like a text, or like a magic verse box, we actually miss hearing God. We must come with hunger and thirst, seeking to hear the Lord speak to us. We pray and seek the Lord. We ask to hear him. Each time we hear the Word, in a prayer and meditative manner, we can hear God speak to us. His ways are higher and deeper than our own so never expect that you will hear something tame or easy. Expect to encounter flame and energy. Expect to hear a person who speaks with love and tenderness but who may well show you again what must be changed and how. God cleanses us, prunes us, by this process. Are you meditating in the Scripture or just reading it like a "holy book" each day?

God's Word is powerful but we have to understand the central message — God's love — and then come longing to meet the One who loves us and speaks to us. 

Related Posts


  1. Darren Gruett April 4, 2012 at 9:54 am

    John, what a great post. Throughout the OT phrases like this one in 1 Samuel 15:10 appear: “Then the word of the LORD came to Samuel, SAYING” (emphasis added). Indeed, the purpose of reading His Word should be to listen to Him. As I have often said to people, prayer is when we speak to God; reading the Bible is when we listen to Him speak to us.
    I also agree that sometimes listening to Him is not always easy. A good example of this is when I came to accept the Doctrines of Grace. It was one of the most difficult things for me to hear, and it definitely forced a change in my thinking, one that I can happily rejoice in today. It also taught me a valuable personal lesson, and that is that I should not just be coming to the Word of God to reaffirm my own beliefs or ideas. I must be ready to be challenged by Him in the same way Jesus challenged the people in His time.

  2. Julianna B April 5, 2012 at 5:50 am

    Great post… wow, this one is going to take a couple more days to process !

Comments are closed.

My Latest Book!

Use Promo code UNITY for 40% discount!

Recent Articles