Author’s Note: Interested readers can find all previous volumes of this series here.
Thanks for joining this study and a special welcome to “first-timers.” Your presence acknowledges that the Bible has supremely impacted and continues to impact the world through the power of words – the Word of God.
In His Word, God speaks to his people collectively, to individual leaders, and those he has chosen as future leaders. Studying the Word of the Lord can be inspiring, comforting, and uplifting every day, but especially during times of personal or national crisis. Conversely, His Word can bring warnings and harbingers of what is to come.
Since this is a “quick” Bible study, we will review only a handful of verses where God spoke in the Old Testament, also known as the Hebrew Bible. Next week we will study what He said in the New Testament.
Let’s begin at the beginning of the Book of Genesis. God’s first direct quote is such a familiar cliché some of us need to be reminded that it originated from Him and not Hallmark gift stores:
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light (Genesis 1:3).
Throughout the 50 chapters of Genesis, the phrase “God said, or God commanded” is prevalent and powerful – but none more than in Chapters 1 – 3. What follows are two verses that shaped humankind, and it is no coincidence that they appear consecutively in Chapter 2:
he Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die” (Genesis 2:15-17).
Here is a sound piece of advice: Always adhere to the Lord’s commands. No excuses. And avoid shrewd, devious serpents who cast doubt on His directives. If only Adam had listened…
What follows next is a famous and popular “wedding” verse:
The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him” (Genesis 2:18).
Depending on your perspective, God’s action was either the world’s best idea leading to a lifetime of love and happiness or, well… let’s not go there. Instead, let’s listen to the Lord in one of his finest moments speaking to Moses in Exodus 20. Here is how he begins “commanding” the Ten Commandments: “I am the Lord your God…”
Can you imagine hearing those words? Read the rest in verses 2 -17 or watch the movie.
Some of my favorite “God speaks” verses are about “forming,” be it a person, nation, or the universe. God’s power and authority to create life — the natural, physical, and spiritual — speaks to God’s Majesty discussed in Vol. 25.
Here is a significant verse that encompasses the very essence of God telling Isaiah that He is Israel’s only Savior:
But now, this is what the LORD says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1).
But God is just warming up. His entire Chapter 43 “sermon” is breathtaking. If you are depressed and need a spiritual boost, take two minutes, and read it. God speaks to those he formed, saying “I love you” to all his sons and daughters — “everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made”(Isaiah 43-7).
Another impactful “formation” verse is when God spoke to Jeremiah:
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5).
The belief that God formed and knew us before we were born is a unique and unforgettable faith concept. That is why we must love our God with all our heart, soul, and mind.
While researching this study, I found a site with a good commentary headlined “The God Who Speaks.” The following paragraph ended the Old Testament section:
“God Speaks, they Hear, they Write. This is the foundation for the history of Israel (Judaism), for the prophets of Israel, and for the kings and the people of Israel. The entire Old Testament – all 39 books – sits on the written words of a speaking God.”
Today’s study has merely scratched the surface of God speaking in the Old Testament. However, I pray that you are motivated to learn more. Next week we continue with the New Testament — where God speaks to and about Jesus — and Jesus speaks to us “In His Name.” Amen!
Myra Kahn Adams is a media producer and conservative political and religious writer with numerous national credits. She is also Executive Director of www.SignFromGod.org, a ministry dedicated to educating people about the Shroud of Turin. Contact: MyraAdams01@gmail.com or Twitter @MyraKAdams.
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