Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Did you know that the word "discerner" is connected with the whole idea of the role of a judge?
However, before we go any further we need to make it quite clear that the Hebraic understanding of the role of a judge is to protect, rather than to condemn.
As I was pondering this though the following Scripture came to mind:
Psalm 105:19 Until the time that his word came to pass, The word of the LORD tested him.
The person whom the word of the Lord "tested" was Joseph.
You will recall that at a young age Joseph had some prophetic dreams which depicted his brothers and indeed his father & mother bowing down before him.
The "word of the Lord" that came in the form of these dreams tested Joseph from the moment his brothers plotted to kill him to the day he found himself in prison in Egypt.
All through these long and difficult years Joseph experienced the sharpness and piercing nature of the "word of the Lord". Despite being falsely accused by his brothers and by Potiphar's wife Joseph maintained a heart of service.
Here is the key: the word picture for "judge" in Hebrew is "door of life"!!!
So, the intent of the "living and powerful word of God" is to guide us to and ultimately through the "door of life". On this journey the "living and powerful word of God" also protects us.
Those dreams that Joseph had as a youngster were the means by which Joseph would become Pharaoh's trusted adviser and the second most powerful person in all of Egypt. This was the "door of life" or the divine purpose that God had planned for Joseph all along.
Do you have a word the Lord has given you?
Then expect that word to test you over time, but remember it will also protect you and safely deliver you through the "door of life" into the fullness of your God given purpose.