God's been talking to you

God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds (NKJV)

     The writer of Hebrews indicates here that God has a history of talking to people.  This introduction to the book is remarkable.  Why should God, the one described in hymns as "Immortal, invisible, God only wise" and "the Lord of years, the potentate of time, creator of the rolling spheres,
ineffably sublime" communicate with people like our ancestors?  How could we deserve even the most cursory understanding of the "Sovereign Being, incomprehensible in His nature, infinite in His essence and perfections, independent in His operations..."?(Charnock)

     Nonetheless, this Supreme Creator of the Universe did indeed choose to reveal Himself to humanity, in more ways than one.  Theologians break God's revelation of Himself into two categories: General Revelation, which exists as a testimony of general truth about God for all people everywhere (as seen in Psalm 19 and Romans 1),

    The heavens declare the glory of God;
    And the firmament shows His handiwork.
         Day unto day utters speech,
    And night unto night reveals knowledge.
         There is no speech nor language
    Where their voice is not heard.

The New King James Version. (1982). (Ps 19:1–3). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,  because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.

The New King James Version. (1982). (Ro 1:18–21). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

and Special Revelation, which involves supernatural revelation of specific truth about who God is and His plan for the Universe.  The writer of Hebrews here focuses on the latter.  At different times and in different ways, God spoke to people through the prophets.  This is the claim.  Does the rest of the Bible match up with the claim?  The Bible is the ultimate collection of Special Revelation, as Peter writes in 2 Peter 1:20 & 21:

knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

The New King James Version. (1982). (2 Pe 1:20–21). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

What did these "holy men of God" say?  What has God revealed about Himself? 

What does the Bible primarily teach?
The Bible primarily teaches what man must believe about God and what God requires of man.


Job 31-34

     In Job 31:15, we see that Job had a very similar view of God's involvement in our lives to that of David.  David wrote, in Psalm 139:13, "For you formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb."  and in 139:16, "Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.  And in your book, they all were written, The days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them."

God knows you intimately and you would not be here without His work!

Job's friend Elihu agrees with both of them - Job 33:4 records him saying "The Spirit of God has made me and the breath of the Almighty gives me life."

Job 25-30

What does Bildad tell us about man's standing before God (chapter 25)?

What differences between God and man does Job highlight in chapter 26?

Compare Job 28:28 with Proverbs 1:7.


Job 20-24

What are some of the consequences of wickedness listed in Job 20?

Does Job's response in chapter 21 primarily agree or disagree with the view of the wicked expressed in chapter 20?

Eliphaz has an interesting criterion for those deserving of punishment (listed in 22:9) what is it?

Job 15-19

16:21-22 Need for a mediator -

    21      Oh, that one might plead for a man with God,
    As a man pleads for his neighbor!
    22      For when a few years are finished,
    I shall go the way of no return.

In this section, we see two interesting points - 1.  The desperate need for a mediator, someone to go between God and man.  If only Job could have seen the Mediator yet to come!  2.  A really bleak view of the afterlife.

The New King James Version. (1982). (Job 16:21–22). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Just a few chapters later, in 19:25-27, we see a much more optimistic view of what comes after death.


Job 10-14

What are some of the reasons, in Zophar's mind, that Job should repent?  Are any of these reaons valid?

Notice that Job 12:10 teaches that God controls the life of every living thing, and the "breath of all mankind."  Where else is the sovereignty of God taugh with similar language?

Job 12 has more to say about the sovereignty of God.  Where do you find evidence that God controls even the affairs of nations?

Job 14:1 repeats an earlier thought about trouble being common to man.  What limits on humanity are explored in this chapter?


Job 5-9

What does Job 5:7 teach us about expecting everything to be easy in life?

What observations do you find regarding the length of human life in Job 7?

Job is desperate for a mediator between God and man in this passage (and elsewhere).  What good news to we find for Job (and all of us) in the New Testament?