“V for Vendetta,” a dystopian political action film that came out in 2005, portrays an England of the near future ruled by a fascist and authoritarian regime that maintains control over the people through constant propaganda and the imprisonment or execution of dissidents.
The protagonist is a vigilante wearing a Guy Fawkes mask who calls himself “V.” On Guy Fawkes Night, V hijacks the state-run television network to address the nation. He describes the tyranny imposed for many years on the people through fear. Freedom of speech, once a prominent and precious right, had long ago been removed from society by the iron fist of the state.
V makes this point in his address: “While the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth.”
V then encourages the people of England to stand against the regime by joining him outside the now-vacant House of Parliament in one year’s time. His words and subsequent actions motivate people by the thousands to cease complying with their tyrannical rulers and show up the following Guy Fawkes Night to peacefully protest. The military stands down. The film ends with the collapse of the regime and hope for a free England.
The power of words to bring about significant change, create great things or cause catastrophic destruction cannot be underestimated.
By the word of God, the universe sprang into existence. The smallest subatomic particle to the largest galaxy is sustained by the word of his power (Genesis 1; John 1:1-3; Hebrews 1:1-4). It was by God’s word that the Great Flood was brought forth to destroy the ancient world but preserve Noah and his family (2 Peter 2:5).
Most of us are probably familiar with the traditional spiritual “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands,” first published in 1927. It paints a picture of God’s great love for humanity and his mighty sustaining power over all creation.
The song is a reminder of the words of the Apostle Paul in Colossians 1:16-17: “For by [Jesus] all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities — all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”
According to Proverbs 9:10, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. An important aspect of this fear of God is the recognition that we do not live by physical nourishment alone but by every word that proceeds from his mouth (Matthew 4:4).
Because God’s word is so powerful, it cannot fail to accomplish what he wills (Isaiah 55:10-11; Ephesians 1:11). It is guaranteed by him to be effective. And that means we can trust what he says to not only be true but come to pass. When the Father says that whoever trusts solely in the merits and promises of his one and only Son, Jesus, will have eternal life as a gift, that word is as powerful as when he spoke the universe into existence.
The word of God is able to bring healing to heart, mind and body. He can deliver from all kinds of seemingly insurmountable obstacles that we sometimes face. The Lord by his word works out all the events and circumstances of our lives for our good, justifies us before God and brings us into glory (Romans 8:28-30).
God’s word brings us from death to life, nourishes the soul, imparts instruction, guidance and wisdom. It provides comfort, perseverance and peace in what often appears to be a chaotic, threatening and hopeless world.
The most famous part of George Frideric Handel’s “Messiah” is the “Hallelujah” chorus. But immediately prior to this are portions of Psalm 2 depicting the world’s rejection of the gospel and God’s ultimate victory.
“Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against His Anointed, saying, ‘Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.’ He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. … Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel” (Psalm 2:1-4, 9).
Jesus, God’s anointed, brings us encouragement and hope in a world under the seemingly irresistible control of Satan and those allied with him. Though they fancy themselves to be all-powerful, the combined efforts of the kings of the earth are not strong enough to overcome the word of God. He has the final say because he is God, and they are not.
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God” (Revelation 19:11-14).
Words have power, and their power depends on the one who speaks them. The Word of God, Jesus Christ, has all power and authority in heaven and earth (Matthew 28:18-20). How blessed are all who put their trust in him.
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