by Pastor Mark Shupe
Before the invention of the internet and wireless networks, if a person wanted to communicate with other people they would often sit down and write a letter. In fact, when Leza and I were dating long distance, a regular means of our communication included the writing and receiving of letters (she was much more consistent in writing than I was).
Fast forward a number of years to our modern-day world of emails and text messages, and it seems we have lost the art of hand-written letters and the expression of our heart’s desires through the written word. Interestingly, this lost form of communication is the very means by which God has and continues to communicate with us today.
God is a writer who pens words that are uniquely crafted and suited for each of us. In fact, there are four places in the Bible that record the direct writings from the hand of God.
God wrote on stone tablets (how different from many of us who started writing on Big Chief tablets) when he gave the Ten Commandments.
- “And when God had finished speaking with him upon Mount Sinai, He gave Moses the two tablets of the testimony, tablets of stone, written by the finger of God.” – Exodus 31:18
- “And the tablets were God’s work, and the writing was God’s writing engraved on the tablets.” – Exodus 32:16
God wrote on a wall when pronouncing judgment on King Belshazzar for profaning the use of vessels that were to be used in the worship of God.
- “Suddenly the fingers of a man’s hand emerged and began writing opposite the lampstand on the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace, and the king saw the back of the hand that did the writing.” – Daniel 5:5
- “Then the hand was sent from Him (God), and this inscription was written out.” – Daniel 5:24
Jesus wrote on the ground unknown words when addressing a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. Even though we don’t know what Jesus wrote, He did not condemn the woman, but sent her on her way with the words “go and sin no more.”
- “But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground.” – John 8:6b
- “And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.” – John 8:8
The Holy Spirit writes on the tablets of our hearts in part as proof and validation of the life-transforming ministry of Christ.
- “You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men; being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone, but on tablets of human hearts.” – 2 Corinthians 3:2-3
As I reflect on the recorded writings of God, several things jump out to me:
- All three members of the Trinity, the Father, Son and Spirit directly penned various words.
- There seems to be a progression from law to
grace in the direct writings of God.
- God wrote on tablets of stone (law).
- God wrote on a wall (judgment).
- Jesus wrote on the ground (redemption)
- The Holy Spirit writes on the tablets of our hearts (sanctification).
- The same Holy Spirit who wrote on the hearts of the Corinthian believers is still at work today, penning His words of hope, encouragement, affirmation, conviction, and transformation on each of our hearts.
What are we to do with the writings and words of God that He communicates to us? Consider the response of Samuel (see 1 Samuel 3:1-10) and the words of this old hymn that references Samuel’s attentive ear to God’s words.
“Oh give me Samuel’s ear, an open ear, O Lord, alive and quick to hear, each whisper of Thy Word; Like him to answer to Thy call and to obey Thee first of all.” – James Drummond Burns, “Hushed Was the Evening Hymn”
For further reflection:
- How do I recognize the writing or words of God that the Holy Spirit is communicating to me today?
- What role does God’s inerrant, inspired, recorded written word (the Bible) play in how God communicates to me?
- What is the primary way I hear God’s words today?