“Wouldn’t it be great if God spoke directly to us.” Hold that thought! The Israelites were terrified to have God speak directly to them at Mount Sinai (Exodus 20:18-19). They begged the LORD to stop or they would die. The LORD answered Moses, “What they say is good. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will call him to account” (Deuteronomy 18:16-19).
Jesus of Nazareth came to fulfill these words. God the Father spoke audibly again in history as Jesus stood in glory before Peter, James and John. “This is my Son… Listen to him!” (Matthew 17:5; Mark 1:11; Luke 9:35). Jesus defined the role of the Holy Spirit as, “He will testify about me… and remind you of everything I have said to you” (John 15:26; John 14:26). Both the Father and the Spirit direct us to Jesus’ words. How important those words must be! Jesus is inseparable from his spoken and written Word. “If anyone is ashamed of me and my words… the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels” (Mark 8:38). “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life” (John 5:24).
With the LORD all things are possible. We dare not limit him. And yet notice how he limits himself to his words. “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son…” (Hebrews 1:1,2). God tells us the days are gone when he speaks to us through dreams, visions, acts of nature, Urim and Thummim, or even through the mouth of a donkey as he once did. Mercifully, the Lord has spoken to us in a way that casts all fear from our hearts and all doubt from our minds. Jesus fulfills the role of prophet.
In response to those who want something more dramatic and spectacular, the Lord answers from heaven: “They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them” (Luke 16:29). God consistently points to his revealed Word, the Bible. Even prophetic dreamers in the Old Testament were directed to God’s revealed Scriptures. “To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn” (Isaiah 8:20). Otherwise how would they know if their dream came from Satan or God? Satan, who “masquerades as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14), attempts to lead people with deceit to trust something other than the Bible’s words. However, the Bible is sufficient for its purpose, for “these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31). The Prophet Jesus still speaks to us today through those who faithfully proclaim his Word.
Thankfully our certainty of life with God now and forever does not rest on our feelings, our dreams, our efforts, or our love. It rests on his love which caused him to send “his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:10).
PRAYERFUL THOUGHTS: O Lord You tell us, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away ” (Matthew 24:35). Thank you, Lord, for the certainty of your Word. Forgive me for not treasuring it enough, for ignoring it, and for taking it for granted. “Speak Lord, Your servant is listening” (1 Samuel 3:9). Speak to me about my sin so that I may find my peace, rest and security in my Savior alone. In his name I pray, Amen.