This phrase has been used countless times to convey the importance of images and how the visual content of something is such a strong element in our communication with others. This phrase originated from a 1911 newspaper article in which newspaper editor Arthur Brisbane, speaking about journalism and publicity, says “Use a picture. It’s worth a thousand words.”
And yet the importance of pictures or images, is something that has been with us for thousands of years. We see this in countless ancient societies, and particularly in the accounts of the prophets. Ezekiel was shown a staggering image of the wheel within a wheel in Ezekiel 1:4-9,
“I looked: I saw an immense dust storm come from the north, an immense cloud with lightning flashing from it, a huge ball of fire glowing like bronze. Within the fire were what looked like four creatures vibrant with life. Each had the form of a human being, but each also had four faces and four wings. Their legs were as sturdy and straight as columns, but their feet were hoofed like those of a calf and sparkled from the fire like burnished bronze. On all four sides under their wings they had human hands. All four had both faces and wings, with the wings touching one another. They turned neither one way nor the other; they went straight forward.”
The prophet Ezekiel used words to describe the incredible image that he had seen, and yet the words fall short of describing it adequately even though the text details the look of the living creatures, their movement, and how the entire scene was spread out before him.
There are countess examples in the biblical text of how some were caught-up in visions from God. And yet this is the speech of God, for in these visions and the imagery that is embedded in them, the deep communication of the divine comes forth to us. The words written down convey the message to us in understandable language, but the words themselves are “word pictures” to us. For the language that was written down in ancient times, was in “word pictures.” The deep things of God were conveyed in these phrases, these forms of speech to us.
People can see different things in a work of art. Some may see something lovely in how the lines, shapes and colors all work together to form a thing of beauty to them. And yet, someone else may see the inner struggle of the artist as it is conveyed on the canvas. Each person, because of their personal approach to the world, will see something different.
Images are a powerful thing. We see them around us every day, and they can repulse us, or they can propel us into action. The word of God is living and active, and as it breathes upon us, allow the words to open up new avenues of understanding within our spirits. He speaks to us in these last days as is said in Joel.
“It shall come to pass I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even upon your male and female servants, in those days, I will pour out my spirit,” Joel 3: 1-2.
~ Stephen Hanson
Stephen Hanson of In His Truth Ministries came to the Lord is a special way in 1975 and has been prophesying regularly since. In these end-time birthing pangs we are to be reminded that judgment must first begin with the household of God. Will we be prepared and ready?