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David's Deliberations . . .

God Has Spoken

30 May 2021

The Bible is repleat with examples of man's tendency to underestimate the power of God's word. Naaman wanted a miracle rather than to obey God (2 Kings 5). The rich man wanted Lazarus to return from the dead to warn his brothers (Luke 16:27-31). The prophet turned aside when God had told him not to (1 Kings 13).

God's word is not a "dead letter." It is living and active (Hebrews 4:12), as it discerns the thoughts and intents of the heart. God spoke and the universe came into existence. God's word does not return to Him empty: "So shall my word which goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it" (Isaiah 55:11).

In Hebrews 1:1-4, the writer contrasts God's spokesmen, the prophets and the Son. The prophets were "holy men of God" (2 Peter 1:21), who though they were moved by the Holy Spirit to speak to Israel and other specific groups or individuals, they had their human weaknesses and liabilities. King David, a prophet and writer of many Psalms, had been an adulterer (Psalm 51; 2 Samuel 11:2-5; 12:1-7). The prophet Isaiah was "a man of unclean lips" (Isaiah 6:5). God's man Elijah, complained that he was all alone in his faith (1 Kings 19:9-18).

However, God "in these last days, has spoken to us in His Son" (Bebrews 1:2) who is free from human foibles and frailties and speaks to all mankind for all time. Christ is "heir of all things" and has all authority in heaven and on earth (Hebrews 1:2; Matthew 28:18-20). He is the one through whom the worlds were created (Hebrews 1:2; Colossians 1:16). He existed in the form of God (Hebrews 1:3; Philippians 2:5-8) and is the sustainer of the created universe (Hebrews 1:3; cf. Colossians 1:15). Christ made purification for our sins (Hebrews 1:3; 9:24-28). He is recognized by God as superior to angels: He is called God's Son (Hebrews 1:5) and the angels are commanded to worship him (Hebrews 1:6). Christ's word will outlast the heavens and the earth (Hebrews 1:2-12; cf. Matthew 24:35; John 12:48).

God's message through Christ is superior to His previous message to the fathers through the prophets, just as Christ is superior to the prophets. The prophets had a message that was appropriate for their people in their day and time, while Christ speaks to all people for all time. All need salvation because all have sinned (Romans 3:23). The message of salvation was first spoken by Christ (Hebrews 2:1-4). One cannot learn the plan of salvation from Isaiah, Jeremiah, John the Baptist, etc. Christ has the words of life (John 6:68).

The word of God revealed through Christ is full, final, and complete (Hebrews 1:1; Jude 3). We need direction in life, especially spiritually (John 14:6), just as we need and desire purpose and peace in life (John 10:10). We are made complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10). All one needs to do to become a complete person and pleasing servant of God is revealed in Christ (2 Peter 1:3).

—David Carl Swanson