God’s Word as Hammer By Babatunde Olugboji
Jeremiah likens God’s Word to a hammer when he said: “‘Is not my word like fire,’ declares the Lord, ‘and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?’” (Jeremiah 23:29).
This week, we will discuss why Jeremiah described the Word as that powerful tool called a hammer, and next week we’ll examine the Word as fire.
A hammer is used for pounding, or breaking things. It is a powerful instrument for breaking rocks and beating stones in pieces. God’s Word functions like a sledgehammer – shattering and breaking down. It is not only an instrument for breaking things in pieces, but also used to drive home nails, and to clench and fasten them. That’s exactly how Jeremiah understood how God’s Word functions.
But there is a tendency to perceive the description of the Word as hammer as contradictory to the way we see God as a God of peace. It could paint a picture of violence. However, it is an apt description of the Word of God, as it is able to smash down our defenses, breaking down strongholds and crushing our self-reliant hearts. The Word of God is designed by the Almighty to break in pieces the stony, and rocky hearts of sinners.
Note that the Word of God cannot by itself break in pieces the sinner’s heart: God must use it through His Holy Spirit, to accomplish the purpose for which God sent it. So, we can deduce that the Word of God in the hand of the Spirit is valuable in driving home and fastening the nails of conviction, in driving home and fastening precepts, in driving home and fastening God’s promises.
At the same time, God uses His powerful Word to build up hearts. God breaks down the stubborn casing to get to the heart of the issue – rotten, sin-infested hearts. He reveals all weakness and frailty, so that He can deal with it.
In the context of our verse, God is dealing with false prophets who present their own foolish dreams as the Word of God. He is declaring that false religion, no matter how impressive, ultimately will bow to the truth of His Word. He is affirming that every promise will be fulfilled and that every judgment will be executed. As impregnable as the rock fortresses of unbelief, false religion, rampant sin, and weak flesh may appear to be, the hammer of the Word can break them in pieces.
The Word smashes our stubborn hearts, rips out all that is rotten and replaces it with good. He reminds us that God hammered His own Son in our place. He hammered Him to the cross. Christ suffered for our sin; He was nailed to the cross for our hard hearts.
No force of man or nature can withstand the blows of the hammer of the Word. Though a heart be as hard as an adamant stone; the Word can break through a hardened heart, save, and deliver.
When a sinner rebels, the Word hammers him or her into submission; when a saint repents, the Word gently hammers him into victory. As you serve the Lord doing His will, all will fall before the hammer of His Word.
Have a great weekend.
Kingdom Dynamics, a weekly column written by Dr. Babatunde Olugboji, the President, Kingdom House, a non-profit organization in New Jersey, USA.
Join Babatunde Olugboji live on Facebook & Youtube every Sunday at 7am (EST) for an insightful time of The Word.