GOD HAS SPOKEN AND GOD SPEAKS
GOD HAS SPOKENand
continues to speak to man. The writer of the book of Hebrews declares,
"God who at sundry times and in divers [diverse, varied] manners [ways]
spake in times past unto the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto
us by his Son..." To
start with in the garden of Eden, God spoke audibly and directly to Adam
and Eve. But sin entering the picture brought their fall and alienation
from God. The close relationship was broken, and God communicated with
them and their descendants from afar. During the Patriarchal age it was
indirectly through the heads of families and tribes. Sometimes it was by
visions and dreams; sometimes otherwise. The law was given through Moses
for the whole nation of Israel. God began a special relationship with these
people so that He eventually could speak to all of us through His Son,
the Lord Jesus Christ. This was a time of preparation and revelation as
his scheme of redemption was being unfolded to man. During this time, "holy
men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost [Spirit]" (II Peter
1:21). Now with the coming of Christ and the giving of the New Testament,
we have Godís completed and final revelation to man. No other such revelation
is promised, expected, or needed. God has spoken (past tense), but He continues
to speak to us through that spoken Word. Let us listen.
Aside from inspired revelation, God also continues to speak
to us in other ways. Just look at His creation. "The heavens declare the
glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork" (Psalms 19:1). Awesome
omnipotent power harnessed by nothing less than supreme intelligence (and
defined by man in terms of consistent, scientific laws) emphatically speaks
to us of an Almighty, Omniscient Being (Romans 1:19,20). In this way God
speaks loud and clear if man would but listen. He is there.
God spoke to ancient Israel many times in judgment. Just
read the prophets. The Israelites were Godís chosen people for the purpose
of bringing the Savior into the world (Genesis 12:1-3; Galatians 4:4).
When they got out of line, God let them know about it. At times other nations
oppressed them. Along with the sword, they faced pestilence. There came
the devouring locusts. They experienced earthquake and radical disturbances
in the weather pattern. God has no nation as his chosen people today, just
the church (I Peter 2:9; Romans 9:8), but nevertheless we are made to wonder
about the things that are happening to this country. Generically He is
telling us something.
The great truth of Proverbs 14:34 hits us between the eyes.
"Righteousnes exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people."
Righteousness exalts the nation that exalts righteousness. Itís that simple.
Proverbs 11:19 reads, "As righteousness tendeth to life: so he that pursueth
evil pursueth it to his own death." (Yes, "the wages of sin is death,"
Romans 6:23). And Psalms 9:17 reads, "The wicked shall be turned into hell
[Sheol], and all the nations that forget God." The seeds of judgment and
destruction are built into the very structure of sin itself. Sooner or
later the day of reckoning will come. If a nationís leaders and its people
do not recognize the enormity of sin, and exalt righteousness, we are in
bad trouble. The unbridled practice of wickedness is self-destructive.
Eternal judgment also awaits.
God has spoken, and God speaks. He speaks His truth and the
reality of Himself. This is done by revelation as evidenced in His Word,
by His creation, and even in warnings and judgment at times. He is trying
to get our attention, to tell us something. We are accountable beings.
May we listen