The Finger of God

“This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.” (John 8:6)

During His earthly ministry, Jesus never wrote a book or any other document, so far as we know, but it is recorded that He wrote with His own finger in the sand and that what He wrote turned away those who had sought to stone a woman caught breaking one of God’s Ten Commandments.

The woman was repentant, however, and Jesus forgave her, evidently indicating this by what He wrote with His finger on the ground. This He could do because He, as God, had written this very commandment Himself with His own finger long before. “And he gave unto Moses . . . two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God” (Exodus 31:18). Moses testified: “And the LORD delivered unto me two tables of stone written with the finger of God; and on them was written according to all the words, which the LORD spake with you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly” (Deuteronomy 9:10).

There are only two other references to the “finger of God” in the Bible. When the Lord through Moses brought the great plagues upon Egypt, Pharaoh’s magicians were able to imitate Moses’ first few miracles, but soon their deceptive “magic” could no longer compare, and they had to confess, “This is the finger of God” (Exodus 8:19).

There is one final mention of God’s finger in the New Testament. When the Pharisees charged that His power to cast evil spirits out of demon-possessed people had been given to Him by Satan, He affirmed rather, “I with the finger of God cast out devils” (Luke 11:20). Jesus is able both to forgive sins and to defeat Satan because He is the Creator of the universe and all its laws. HMM

From The Institute for Creation Research.

 

Devotional

Epochs and civilizations appear after a time to be flung on the scrap-heap by God in a strangely careless manner. The remarkable thing in the record of the Ages is that each Age ends in apparent disaster. The saint knows that God reigns, and that the clouds are but the dust of his Father’s feet and he has no need to fear. He feels assured that these catastrophic occurrences are but incidental, and that a higher peace and a purer character are to be the permanent result. History is fulfilling prophecy all the time.

The path of peace for us is to hand ourselves over to God and ask Him to search us, not what we think we are, or what other people think we are, or what we persuade ourselves we are or would like to be, but, “Search me out, O God, explore me as I really am in Thy sight.”

Reflection Questions: What does the downfall of dictators indicate about the effectiveness of peace that is imposed on people? What does history teach me about human attempts to make peace?

Quotations taken from God’s Workmanship and Biblical Psychology, © Discovery House Publishers

Vision – Day 9

Today’s reading is drawn from Mark 8:31-33.

Jesus consistently cast an energizing vision of God’s coming kingdom. His vision was so compelling that his disciples left everything to follow him. In this passage, Jesus tells the disciples that his vision would demand his own total commitment to it. His description was so graphic that Peter rebuked him. But Jesus knew he had to risk his disciples’ rejection of the vision by telling them what it would cost to achieve it. Any leader who paints the goal without painting the path to that goal is in danger of failing to realize the vision.

John Ryan, president of Center for Creative Leadership, writes, “leadership success always starts with vision.” He then adds, “Compelling visions can change the world. But staying invested in them can be extremely difficult when hard times arrive.”

Great leaders, says Ryan, cast visions that “can be—and in fact should be—challenging to put into action. They realize them only by setting realistic, demanding goals and then going after them relentlessly.” And then he adds this key statement, “Indeed, when it comes to living out a vision, persistence matters just as much as inspiration.”*

Jesus painted a compelling vision, but he never pulled any punches when warning his followers that there would be prices to pay. Leaders owe followers an honest and complete picture when they paint a glorious future. To promote the prize and hide the price is not only unfair; it is a strong invitation for people to jump ship in the first storm.

*Ryan, “Leadership Success Always Starts With Vision.”

 

Bible Gateway