What exactly is it about the Biblical 'word' that convinces readers
they are reading about a person, not a message? The Bible talks about the 'Word of the Lord' in a way that would
be peculiar if we thought of the 'Word of the Lord' as a Western
Union telegram sent by God to man. He comes and goes, stays and
leaves, asks and answers: "After these things the word of the
LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, 'Do not be afraid, Abram.
I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.'" (Genesis 15:1).
"Then the LORD appeared again in Shiloh. For the LORD
revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the LORD." (1 Samuel 3:21).
"For thy word's sake, and according to thine own
heart, hast thou done all these great things, to make thy servant know them." (2 Samuel 7:21).
"And Jehoshaphat said, 'The word of the LORD is with him.' So the king
of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom went down to him." (2 Kings 3:12).
"Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
'Jeremiah, what do you see?' And I said, 'I see a branch of an almond tree.'" (Jeremiah 1:11).
It's inadvisable to cross Him: "Because he hath despised
the word of the LORD, and hath broken his commandment, that soul shall utterly be cut off;
his iniquity shall be upon him." (Numbers 15:31).
"I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth
in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee
shall bow, every tongue shall swear." (Isaiah 45:23).
"Know now that there shall fall unto the earth nothing of
the word of the LORD, which the LORD spake concerning the house of Ahab: for the LORD hath
done that which he spake by his servant Elijah." (2 Kings 10:10).
One can ask Him a question, and He speaks in return: "And
Jehoshaphat said unto the king of Israel, Enquire,
I pray thee, at the word of the LORD to day." (2 Chronicles 18:4).
He tries His people: "Until the time that his word [dabar] came: the word [imrah]
of the LORD tried him." (Psalm 105:19).
He is the speech and the speaker: "For I have been told by the word of the
LORD, 'You shall not eat bread nor drink water there, nor return by going the way
you came.'" (1 Kings 13:17).
"And also by the hand of the prophet Jehu the son of Hanani
came the word of the LORD against Baasha, and against
his house, even for all the evil that he did in the sight of the LORD, in provoking him to anger with
the work of his hands, in being like the house of Jeroboam; and because he killed him." (1 Kings 16:7).
"And Elijah the Tishbite, of the inhabitants of Gilead,
said to Ahab, 'As the LORD God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor
rain these years, except at my word.' Then the word of the LORD came to him, saying, 'Get
away from here and turn eastward, and hide by the
Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan.'" (1 Kings 17:1-3).
"Then the word of the LORD came to him, saying,
'Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. See, I have commanded a
widow there to provide for you.'" (1 Kings 17:8-9).
The word gives life: "This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy
word [imrah, LXX logos] hath quickened me. [το λογιον σου
εζησεν με]" (Psalm 119:50). It
was not a new discovery of the New Testament era that "In him was life"
Thy Word is a Lamp Unto my Feet
In the Bible, the 'word of God' is two things: He who created all
things, and God's revelation. These two are not unrelated, but are two
aspects of a whole; revealing God's will is the Word's work and
"The Word (John 1:1): This term even more vividly shows
that our Lord Jesus is the complete revelation of God. The Word is that
by which God expresses what He is. It is not that our Lord bears the
revelation of God, but that, far more, He is Himself that very
revelation. . .Christ is the living Word. Tauler, in the Middle Ages,
put it enigmatically when he said: 'God hath spoken but one Word, and
that Word is still unspoken.' All God's message is forever comprehended in
Christ, so that all we can ever know, or need to know, is in Him. As
all this is given in a living person, the message is always a present
one." (H. C. Hewlett, The Glories of Our Lord, pp. 39-40).
These are not so much two different things which confusingly share the same name, the 'Word,'
but the same eternal Son of God revealing Himself in a way which is
progressively more personal, open and complete: "The Word that is written
makes known Christ the living Word. . .The spiritually-minded hymnist
Joseph Hart brings the two Words together in the verse
"'The Scriptures and the Word
Bear one tremendous name,
The Living and the Written Word
In all things are the same.'" (All
the Messianic Prophecies of the Bible, by Herbert Lockyer, p. 26).
"The Inspired Word and the Eternal Word are forever inseparable. The
Bible is Christ portrayed; Christ is the Bible fulfilled. One is the
Picture, the other is the Person, but the features are the same and
proclaim their authority." (All the Messianic Prophecies of the Bible,
by Herbert Lockyer, p. 344).