How did God Communicate in the Scriptures? (Psalm 19 and others)

How did God speak to us in the Old Testament? Further, how does God speak to us today? That is my theme today:

How did God speak to us in the Old Testament? Further, how does God speak to us today?

We have already looked at a video of stars praising the Lord. Last week we talked about Rev. 4:1-11 and how we see worship in Heaven. We have this great and awesome God and guess what, He has revealed Himself to us in more than one way.

C. S. Lewis said God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our consciousness, and shouts to us in our pain.[1]

  1. In the Bible God spoke through General Revelation. God still speaks through General Revelation. General Revelation means that God has revealed Himself through creation.
    1. Psalm 19: The heavens declare the glory of God;
      the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
      Day after day they pour forth speech;
      night after night they reveal knowledge.
      They have no speech, they use no words;
      no sound is heard from them.
      Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
      their words to the ends of the world.
      In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
      It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
      like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
      It rises at one end of the heavens
      and makes its circuit to the other;
      nothing is deprived of its warmth.
    2. The law of the Lord is perfect,
      refreshing the soul.
      The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
      making wise the simple.
      The precepts of the Lord are right,
      giving joy to the heart.
      The commands of the Lord are radiant,
      giving light to the eyes.
      The fear of the Lord is pure,
      enduring forever.
      The decrees of the Lord are firm,
      and all of them are righteous.
    3. 10 They are more precious than gold,
      than much pure gold;
      they are sweeter than honey,
      than honey from the honeycomb.
      11 By them your servant is warned;
      in keeping them there is great reward.
      12 But who can discern their own errors?
      Forgive my hidden faults.
      13 Keep your servant also from willful sins;
      may they not rule over me.
      Then I will be blameless,
      innocent of great transgression.
    4. 14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
      be pleasing in your sight,
      Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.
    5. There are other passages concerning General Revelation and they are in your sermon notes. (John 1:14-18; Acts 17:22-31; Romans 1:17-21; Hebrews 1:1-4)
  2. But what I think you really want to talk about is Special Revelation: group together: How many different ways?
    1. Special Revelation is the Word of God, the Bible, today. But in the Old Testament and the New Testament this meant that God revealed Himself to people in real forms.
    2. Name some? Anyone name some ways that God communicated to people in the Bible…
      1. Verbal: God talked with Adam: Genesis 2 indicates that God spoke to Adam about his needs both personal (“I will make a helper suitable for you”) and in regard to civilization (“Be fruitful and multiply”).
      2. Visions (Gen. 15)
      3. Angels (Luke 1 and 2)
      4. Dreams (Matthew chapters 1 and 2)
      5. Animals, specifically a donkey (Numbers 22:28)
      6. Weather events (2 Kings 19:12)
      7. Urim and Thummim: (Ex. 28:30)
        1. So that would be 7 different ways that God communicated to people and I have the verses in your sermon notes. I also have further references available upon request of various ways that God communicated.[2]
  • How does God speak today?
    1. The Holy Spirit is the agent who brings revelation home to the human heart (John 14:26: 16:13–15; Rom. 8:15–16; 1 Cor. 2:10–12; Gal. 4:6).[3]
    2. Today God speaks through His Word (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
    3. John Piper: “How Important is the Bible?”given at Lausanne 2010:
      1. “God talks to me no other way, but don’t get this wrong, he talks to me very personally. I open my Bible in the morning to meet my friend, my Savior, my Creator, my Sustainer. I meet him and he talks to me. … I’m not denying providence, not denying circumstances, not denying people, I’m just saying that the only authoritative communion I have with God with any certainty comes through the words of this book.”
    4. Let’s apply this…
      1. It was 1991 and it was announced that we were sending troops into Iraq, it was now the Gulf War, Operation Desert Storm. My dad came home from work and wanted to watch the news, something important was happening. I remember how serious that was and how my dad would not let me talk over the news that night. He wanted to know what was happening.
      2. I have grown up a little bit in the five years since 1991, 25 years, and I realize now, sometimes you need to listen.
      3. If something important is happening, you tune in and listen.
      4. God has spoken, God continues to speak, tune in and listen.
      5. We tune in by going to the Lord in prayer and opening our Bible. That is like tuning in on a radio, or television. Tune in to what God has to say.
      6. Anyone remember Bob Ross? Bob Ross taught people to paint. But you would follow his instructions on Television when you tuned in to his program. Tune in to God’s Word, listen to Him.

 

Closing:

 

Jesus was baptized and at His baptism the Spirit came down like a dove and there was a voice from the Father saying, “This is my Son in Whom I am well pleased.” We have that same opportunity today. We have the opportunity to follow Jesus’ footsteps in baptism and also to receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has not changed either. (Matthew 3:16-17; Mark 1)

 

Do you know Jesus?

God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)

Pray

Footnotes:

[1] G. Curtis Jones, 1000 Illustrations for Preaching and Teaching (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1986), 145.

  1. [2] Abraham’s meeting with the three travelers (Gen. 18:1-19:1).
  2. Moses heard him calling from the fiery bush. (Exodus 3)
  3. God spoke through Balaam’s donkey (Numbers 22:28).
  4. Job heard God speaking from the whirlwind. (Job 38)
  5. Samuel heard him calling in the dark. (1 Samuel 3)
  6. David heard him speak through the prophet Nathan. (2 Samuel 12)
  7. Elijah heard God speak through a gentle blowing (2 Kings 19:12), though God was not in a strong wind (2 Kings 19:11), the Lord was not in an earthquake (2 Kings 19:11), and the Lord was not in a fire (2 Kings 19:12).
  8. Isaiah felt the burning coal and heard assurance that his guilt was taken away and sin atoned for. (Isaiah 6)
  9. God spoke through symbolic actions (Jeremiah 18:1-10).
  10. Valley of Dry Bones (Ezekiel 37)
  11. God spoke through dreams such as Matthew 1 and 2 and Acts 10:9ff with Peter
  12. God spoke through angels (Luke 2)
  13. This is my Son in whom I am well pleased (Matthew 3:16-17; Mark 1).
  1. Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch
  2. Saul and those traveling with him on the road to Damascus heard Jesus asking why Saul was persecuting him. (Acts 9)
  3. Prophets and teachers at Antioch heard the Holy Spirit tell them to set apart Barnabas and to send out Saul. (Acts 13)
  4. 2 Cor. 12:1-4 Paul was told to keep what he saw hidden.
  5. John felt the glorified Jesus touch him and heard his assurance that he didn’t have to be afraid.

[3] Allen C. Myers, The Eerdmans Bible Dictionary (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1987), 884.

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