Throughout Scripture we have several incredible statements where the Word of God came to someone and spoke. I have no doubt this was true, but all growing up I assumed the individual heard a booming voice and “heard” the voice of God. However, when you look at the passages, though that would be a legitimate understanding, it appears something more is happening. Take a look at Abraham:
After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”
The word that we translate “vision” is only used four times in the Old Testament and each time it is used, it conveys the idea of someone seeing something. The root word itself means to see, look, and behold.
When the Word of God came to Abraham in a vision, it wasn’t something he merely heard, but something he saw and interacted with. Though I cannot conclusively prove it, my opinion is that Abram saw Jesus (the Word of God).
We know throughout Scripture that Jesus is our shield and our exceedingly great reward. He is not a mere trophy we hang upon the wall, rather He is our EXCEEDINGLY GREAT reward!
- The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. – Psalms 18:2
- Wisdom and knowledge will be the stability of your times, And the strength of salvation; The fear of the LORD is His treasure. – Isaiah 33:6
- Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. – Matthew 13:44
- For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. – 2 Corinthians 4:6-7
Jesus Himself is our delight, He is our desire, and He is our determined direction. He is the main deal, our one focus, and our sublime joy. Jesus and Jesus alone – or as my good friend Ben Zornes says – Jesus ever, Jesus only, Jesus always.
The Word of God came to Abram in a vision and announced: “I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” What a declaration!
And The Word Came Unto …
One of my favorite passages in all of Scripture is 2 Samuel 7:4 (which is repeated verbatim in 1 Chronicles 17:3), it reads: “But it happened that night that the word of the LORD came to Nathan, saying ….”
I understand that in context, specifically when you read how the Word came unto the prophets, that it can be interpreted as “the message of the Lord” or “the prophet heard what God was saying so they are declaring God’s words.” But think about it – isn’t the main message of Scripture that God desired to come unto His people? Everything in the Old Testament leads to Jesus (God Himself) coming unto humanity. While the focus of Christ’s ministry was to deliver His people from sin, to crush the head of the serpent, and to declare victory upon the Cross, He was also coming to communicate something important: His heart, His nature, His love, Himself! Jesus is the physical representation of the invisible Godhead:
… [Jesus] who being the brightness of His [the Father’s] glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high …
If Jesus is the Truth and called the Word of God, cannot we accurately state that when the Word of the Lord came unto people throughout the Old Testament, it wasn’t just a voice or a message they heard, the Living Word Himself was being presented to them?! Jesus was the center of the prophetic declaration they uttered. He is the focus and main deal throughout all of the Old Testament.
In this light, listen to these passages afresh:
- Then the word of the LORD came to Solomon, saying … – 1 Kings 6:11
- And it came to pass after many days that the word of the LORD came to Elijah, in the third year, saying … – 1 Kings 18:1
- And the word of the LORD came to Isaiah, saying … – Isaiah 38:4
- In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying … – Jeremiah 27:1
- The word of the LORD that came to Micah of Moresheth … – Micah 1:1
- The word of the LORD which came to Zephaniah the son of Cushi … – Zephaniah 1:1
- And again the word of the LORD came to Haggai on the twenty-fourth day of the month, saying … – Haggai 2:20
- In the eighth month of the second year of Darius, the word of the LORD came to Zechariah the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying … – Zechariah 1:1
There are obviously more, but you get the picture. The Word of God came unto humanity – and not just the Israelites but even the Gentiles: “Then word came to the king of Nineveh; and he arose from his throne and laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth and sat in ashes” (Jonah 3:6).
This concept culminates when we hit the New Testament, for it is there we read:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. … And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:1, 14
The Word came to us, dressed Himself in our humanity, and brought forth life, truth, and the way unto salvation (see John 14:6).
One of my most precious thoughts is the realization that the God of the universe spoke forth words recorded in one Book. If I can quote the slightly cheesy and overused illustration – if we treasure love letters, notes, and emails from the ones we love, how much more should we cherish the Word of God.
Not long ago, someone came across some paper which contained a few pictures, poems, and music sketches from John Lennon (one of the Beatles who died in 1980). When they auctioned his scribbles off, they sold for nearly $3 million.
I could write and draw the same thing on high quality paper but I wouldn’t be able to give it away. So why was Lennon’s work so valuable? Because someone treasured the creator of the work.
I’m not a Lennon fan but if his pencil sketches and poems could go for $3 million, how much more should I treasure Scripture – which contain the very words of God Himself?
Even more so, do I realize that the Word of God came unto me – even me – clothed with my humanity?
The Word of God has come to Nathan (2 Samuel 7:4) … but He has also come to you.
I rejoice at Your word As one who finds great treasure.