For the word of God is living and powerful, and shaper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12: (NKJV)
The Greek word for sword is machaira. Although it is a Greek word, it is describing a Roman sword, one of the greatest inventions of the ancient world. It became the word used by God for the Word of God and the voice of the Holy Spirit in our lives (Ephesians 6:17). Until the invention of the machaira, there were many swords present in the ancient world. Invented by kings, war, and fencing experts, each sword was different in appearance and use.
The Sword of Kings
Kings had decorative swords used for knighting and other important ceremonies of the royal court. These swords were beautifully crafted with gold handles embedded with precious stones and were of great value. Much like the British Crown Jewels, these swords were placed under protection and the public permitted to view them between ceremonies.
The Word of God is not compared to this type of sword because the Bible is not intended to simply be decorative, placed on a coffee table or desk to be seen for its beautiful cover and many pictures. It is not something to be brought out only at the christening of babies or for hands to be laid on at weddings and swearing in ceremonies.
The Sword of Sport
Fencing has been a sport of the wealthy for centuries. Its main use was to teach tire art of war, but quickly became a game for others to watch. The fencing sword is a long sword with a single point. The edges are not sharp and the only way to wound an opponent and score points is to thrust the tip of the sword into the opponent.
The Word of God is not a sword of sport; it is more than a single "point" like the fencing sword. God's Word is not a book only about end time events nor is to be used solely as a manual for marriage. Many evangelists use the Word exclusively as a healing book, others as a book strictly for salvation. God may specific area of the Bible however, the Word is profitable in all arenas of life.
The Sword of War
The best known sword of war prior to the Roman Empire was the sword of the Hittites. It was a brutal killing instrument that had evolved from races and empires preceding the Hittites. The tip was sharp but seldom used. The primary surface used in battle was the two sides of the wide blade. The blade was long and heavy and a soldier usually dragged it behind or carried it over his shoulder because of its sheer size and weight.
When in battle, the soldier began with the sword behind his body and he would swing it with force around in a circle. When used correctly, it could cut off more than one head of enemy warriors. However, because this sword was heavy and clumsy to handle, it often left the soldier using it off balance. Because of the time it took to swing such a heavy sword, the soldier might still be swinging as his opponent ducked and ultimately killed him in battle. boys not to reach for the biggest bat. Often, they want to lilt the ball out of the park by trying to use a bat too heavy for them. Instead of accomplishing their goal, it takes them longer to swing at die ball and throws them off balance when they do. clumsy, leaving the believer off balance. It never leaves us vulnerable to a defensive move from Satan or the world. The machaira was short (18 inches), lightweight, and sharp on the point and both sides. In fact, it is written in history, the first time the barbarians saw the Romans coming up the hills with their small swords, they laughed at them. However, after the battle, the hills were filled with dead barbarians and those left laughing were the Romans. The machaira could trust, cut from side to side, and was so small and lightweight it never left the solider off balance.
The Word never leaves us off balance, is always better than any weapon Satan can create, and those left on the hills of battle laughing are the warriors of God armed with sword of the Spirit! The word is usable all area of life from war to daily devotions We regain strength by mediating in the Word. The more it is used the sharper it becomes to divide When the word is used the sharper it becomes and divide between sold and spirit and thoughts of intents of the heart.
In his service,
Bishop James Swinson