Do you always have to have the last word in an argument? Are you the kind of person who can’t leave a topic alone and have to keep coming back to it? Do you feel that there’s a point to be scored in speaking last? Are you like a dog with a bone when it comes to a row?

When I told my husband I was going to be blogging thirty ‘gold nuggets of truth’ throughout October to celebrate my thirtieth birthday, he very practically pointed out that there were thirty-one days in October. Well, I’m now in my thirty-first year of being a Christian, so I reckoned I could get away with one last thought for the month. That thought has to be that God has the final word.

I love words. All my life I’ve loved the sound of them; I’ve loved discovering new words; I’ve loved communicating through this miraculous medium. Apparently I didn’t even bother with the usual baby words but when I finally started to talk, came out with the full sentence ‘It’s there’, in response to a question from my parents. I simply cannot imagine a world without words.

Imagine my joy when I first read John’s Gospel and discovered that Jesus is described as ‘the Word’ (John 1:1 TNIV) Imagine what it was like to realise that God Himself wanted to communicate with me, through words. For years I’ve taught languages because I can’t think of a better way of unveiling God. God is the Word and He wants to talk to us!

In 1987 (a very significant year for me as it was the year I graduated and got married), Michael Card released the third album in his ‘The Life’ trilogy called ‘The Final Word’. He had, ironically, perhaps, started by looking at the death and resurrection of Christ (‘Known by The Scars’) and then looked at the life of Jesus (‘Scandalon’). The final album looked at the birth of Christ, but being the Bible scholar he is, that also meant at looking not just at the actual birth but at all that lay behind the birth, looking at the whole topic of the Incarnation. This album remains my all-time favourite album on the topic and is played in our house every single Christmas without fail. One person has reviewed the album with the words ‘pensive, acoustic and spiritually correct.’ Whilst this may be an accurate review, I don’t think it goes anywhere near to conveying the passion and truths contained in the songs!

The title track on the album, rooted in John 1 and Hebrews 1, looks at the subject of Jesus being ‘God’s final word’. I have meditated on this theme repeatedly since I first heard the song and have come to understand that Jesus is indeed God’s final word and that God will always have the last word:

“You and me, we use so very many clumsy words.
The noise of what we often say is not worth being heard.
When the Father’s wisdom wanted to communicate His love,
He spoke it in one final perfect word.

He spoke the Incarnation
And then so was born the Son.
His final Word was Jesus,
He needed no other one.
Spoke flesh and blood so He could bleed and make a way divine
And so was born the baby who would die to make it mine.

And so the Father’s fondest thought took on flesh and bone.
He spoke the living, luminous word:
At once His will was done.
And so the transformation that in man had been unheard
Took place in God the Father
As He spoke that final word.

And so the light became alive
And manna became man
Eternity stepped into time
So we could understand.” (‘The Final Word’, Michael Card)

’The Final Word’, Michael Card

Towards the end of the book of Job, Job and all his ‘comforters’ are finally silent as God speaks. The awesomeness of God is revealed in Job 38-41. In the middle of that mighty revelation, Job says “I am unworthy—how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth.” (Job 40: 4 TNIV)

God will always have the final word. He will always have the last word. He is Sovereign over all. He is ruling and reigning. Job says eventually “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.” (Job 42:2-3)

Sometimes God roars like a lion (Hosea 11:10 TNIV) and sometimes He whispers (1 Kings 19:12 TNIV), but always He will have the last word. We do well when we shut up and listen.

‘God Almighty’, Chris Tomlin