God Has Spoken. Are You Listening?

hear_10924cBecause you are made in the image of God, communication is crucial. Hebrews begins (1:1-2) by telling you of the Christ who is the One in whom God has spoken.

God spoke in the prophets. God used to reveal himself in various ways. God gave his revelation in portions. Sarah Koenig’s popular podcast, “Serial,” gave bits and pieces of a complicated murder case, keeping listeners involved. God’s revelation in the Old Testament was written over a period of 1100 years, Moses to Malachi. God spoke in various ways: thundering from Sinai, a quiet voice to Elijah, visions to Daniel, engraving the Ten Words in stone, speaking a parable to David through Nathan, a glorious vision recounted by Isaiah, and preaching by Amos, a shepherd from Tekoah.

In all this diversity, God did speak in the prophets. Some disparaged or rejected God’s revelation because of its variety and because it came through humans. But Hebrews tells you that God spoke. He spoke in these men, but the words are God’s words. The product is the Word of God. The author of Hebrews is not disparaging this former revelation. It was glorious. Don’t overlook the unity of the revelation, despite its pluriformity. This speaking God summons you to listen, as Isaiah 55:2-3 tells you. “To say that God was speaking in the prophets need not detract at all from their intelligence, but it does serve to emphasize the absolute character of the resultant prophecies. We need not be concerned so much about the process of revelation, provided we maintain a firm conviction that the product of revelation is truly the infallible Word of God. This we find in Hebrews, which lays strong stress on the fact that the revelation was in the prophets.” (Geerhardus Vos, The Teaching of the Epistle to the Hebrews, p. 73).

God has now spoken in a Son. In these last days God has spoken to you. “The last days” grows out of the expression, “afterwards,” Isiah 2:2 and Hosea 3:5. The last days is the time of the Messiah, promised long ago, now appearing in the coming of Christ, 1 Corinthians 10:11; Galatians 4:4. God’s Word always comes powerfully, accomplishing the purpose for which it was sent, Isaiah 55:10-11. The event that marks the end of the old and the beginning of the “last days” is the coming and work of Christ, see Hebrews 9:26. The coming of the powerful Word introduces the time of peace, joy, and blessing, Isaiah 55:12-13. You live in the last days, the time bracketed by the first and second comings of Christ.

Because you do, listen to God’s revelation in his Son. The Son is the ultimate revelation that God gives. God has provided a new, a richer way of revealing himself. There is a simplicity in this revelation. It contrasts with the many times and various ways of the Old Testament revelation. This is a glorious revelation. Old Testament revelation was glorious, 2 Corinthians 3:10,11. This is more so. This is God’s final revelation. In the Old Testament there was a need for ongoing revelation as redemption progressed and the great day drew nearer. The revelation in Christ is definitive, and that is part of his excellence. (One theme of Hebrews is Christ’s superiority to the angels.) God has spoken, once for all. Listen to what God says. God himself summons you to listen, to listen to his Son, to listen to the Scriptures that tell of him, to listen, not with skepticism or doubt, not with a holding back of yourself from repentance and faith, but to listen with open ears, to listen with your heart, to listen, and to respond with trust, with worship, and with obedience.

God has spoken gloriously in his Son. Are you listening?

About jwm

I serve as pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church, Newberg, Oregon.
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