The fact that Ps 147:15 declares ‘His word runs swiftly’ conjures up pictures of letters of the alphabet with arms and legs in my mind…

C. H. Spurgeon said of this verse, “If God’s word runs very swiftly, then it can even overtake those who run away from it. Not only can the Lord come quickly to those who seek him, but he can overtake those who hasten away from him.” Often, we feel that God takes a long time fulfilling His word (e.g. 2 Pet 3:4-9) and we can easily feel frustrated by Scripture’s repeated command to ‘wait for the Lord’ (see Ps 37:6, Ps 130:5-6, Is 26:8, Lam 3:24), but it is equally true that when God moves, He often moves with a suddenness that takes us by surprise.

Farming is a slow process, involving breaking up ground, sowing, ploughing and waiting before harvesting. Yet when that moment of harvest comes, the farmer has to act swiftly, gathering in the crops with no delays. In the same way, God’s word is sown into hearts in many different ways and on many different occasions, but the moment of regeneration comes swiftly, as blind eyes are opened and hearts believe. Spurgeon said of this, ‘The Word of God all of a sudden transforms the very nature of men, and they enter into an altogether new state of life out of which there comes a character which glorifies God! The essence of that character is created in an instant! The seed of God out of which it will all come is implanted at once.’

In the same way, often our prayers seem to go unanswered for some time and the heavens can feel like brass (Deut 28:23), but when God does answer, He does so with alacrity. The centurion who came to Jesus on behalf of his sick servant said, ‘Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed.’ (Matt 8:8) As Chris Tomlin puts it in the song Impossible Things’,

‘One word and the walls start falling.

One word and the blind will see.

One word and the sinner’s forgiven

‘Cause You do impossible things.’

May God’s word run swiftly in our lives, our churches and our community. When God says the word, healings, deliverance and salvation will come. Restoration will come. Revival will come. Say the word, Lord!