What is a word? A word is a sound or better a vocalization of a meaningful sound. It may point to feelings, concrete realities or universal truths. Concepts and words are unable to express reality as it is and as such narrow the understanding of reality. For example, the spectrum of light contains at least 16 million shades of colors yet we can differentiate and name only a handful of them for practical purposes. Further, a word is part of a language system and as such sees reality from a particular perspective, so that, the literal meaning it has in one language is not necessarily that of another. Despite its limitations, the spoken word has the ability to reveal the personality of human beings.
Photo courtesy of my niece Debra.
Cell phones have become a phenomenon in the modern world, everyone is using them everywhere. Why? Because the spoken word reveals the person speaking immediately. Neither the image of a person nor his written word can reveal as much of the person as the spoken word. In speech a person reveals his thoughts, feelings (expressed or implied), aspirations and decisions. The tone of voice may reveal hidden aspects of the person which cannot be grasped in writing or images.
Man has taken the concept of word and applied it to God's act of creation or shall we say that the human word is an image of Word of God. God said and it came into being - it is an actualization of God's design and creative power. This is the mystery which underlies our ability to form concepts and modulate them into sounds. In the psalms 139:4 we read:
"Even before a word is on my tongue, LORD,
you know it all."
Since God is the author of being, speech and languages, "words" have also become the means whereby God revealed himself to mankind. In a broad sense, the word of God reaches man through creatures, symbols, dreams, visions, speech (internal or external) audible to human nature, tradition and scripture.
The Word as Natural Revelation