In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
When I think of language, these are the first two passages of scripture that come to mind. I don't know when God made language. I imagine that He created it long before Creation. I know for certain that it existed before light. Before light! Think of it! Light is necessary for almost everything, especially living (no photosynthesis=no plants=no life) and seeing. But to create light, God used words. And not some magical spell, but simple, everyday words. "Let there be light." The power is not in the words, but in the Speaker. They are a tool - perhaps the most powerful tool in existence.
- What did God use to create the the world? Words.
- How did God communicate with Adam? Gen. 1:28 "And God blessed them. And God said to them..." Words!
- How did the serpent deceive Eve? With words. (Gen. 3:1)
- How did God both curse and prophesy redemption? Words! (Gen. 3:14-19)
- How did God speak to Abraham? With words.
- What did the prophets speak and write down? Words.
- Who is Christ? The Word!
- How do we know all of this? Through the printed Word, i.e. the Bible!
God uses language for creation, for communication, for blessing and cursing, for judging and redeeming.
On a human level, words are still powerful tools. The Magna Carta, Mein Kampf, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Common Sense, The Communist Manifesto, what do these titles have in common? They're collections of words that changed the world, for good or ill. And that's just written word! Who could count the speeches that have influenced people over time? As portrayed in Mark Antony's speech in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, words wielded correctly are powerful enough to change someone's mind completely.
Bullying has been a major topic lately. Children and adults alike are driven to desperate acts of depression and violence by words. I once heard R. C. Sproul say that when he was little and would say "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me," he knew it was a lie. Words do hurt. "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing." Hurting and Healing are powerful things, my friends!
Consider the gift you are using right now. Reading this, you're setting yourself apart from the rest of creation; you're proving that you are indeed made in the image of God. It is a powerful, magical, holy tool that has been put into your mind, mouth, and hands. Use it wisely!
And THAT is why I am an English Major.