Tuesday, November 01, 2005


The Finger of God

What does Edith Schaeffer mean when she says, “false religious leaders…leaving the altar of the bleeding lamb”? After the golden calf rebellion, the Lord spoke of the shamed crowd as a “stiff-necked people” who needed to be punished. Moses interceded and mediated for the Jews, offering his own position with God as a sacrifice in order to spare the people being cut off from the Abrahamic promise to build them into a great nation. Moses then turned to the people, accountable under Aaron’s wayward leading, and he utterly smashed the stone tablets with God’s own handwriting on them! “Moses was angry” is an understatement. My guess is he saw red. There is Another in the written history who had a similar response to our sins. Jesus, our mediator, did surrender His one-of-a-kind relationship with the Father in order to secure ours. He was wrenched from God’s presence in an ironic visit to Hell so that all who believe may enter into the New Covenant, just as Israel was permitted to remain in their new Covenant of Law. In both instances, “false religious leaders [left] the altar of the bleeding lamb” and dissuaded the people.

The historic moment is recorded in Exodus 31:18. “When the Lord finished speaking to Moses on Mount Sinai, He gave him the two tablets of the Testimony, the tablets of stone inscribed by the finger of God.” God wrote the conditions of the covenant on two tablets, not because it wouldn’t all fit on one, as one commentator explains. It was an agreement between God and His Chosen with two copies—one for each party. Both copies would be kept in God’s dwelling, the soon to be built Tabernacle.

The other time, years later, when history records the hand of God writing, God didn’t reveal exactly what He wrote…It would seem the content was less important than the action.

John 8:6: “But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with His finger.” As if to pronounce, “I’ll do that again so you don’t miss it,” “Again, He stooped down and wrote on the ground” v.8

I am very sorry that the author and source is lost in my feeble memory, but there is a book somewhere on my shelf, which takes on the meaning of Jesus’ action when the woman’s life stood in the balance. Supposedly caught in the crime of extra-marital relations, punishable by death, the very finger of God, once again, writes. Only one place have I seen it, this pinpoint explanation. Just as Moses had witnessed God’s putting down, documenting in legal fashion, a Covenant, now the crowd, the disciples, the officials, and the lonely, ashamed woman bear witness to a new Covenant. Clearly, Jesus was drawing up the papers in exquisite demonstration! This is My Father’s Covenant of Redemption!
“Jesus straightened up and asked her, ‘Woman where are they? Has no one condemned you?’
‘No one, sir,’ she said.
‘Then neither do I condemn you,’ Jesus declared, ‘Go now and leave your life of sin.’”
Vs. 10-11

Jesus’ action was symbolic of the promised covenant, which He would seal with His pure, precious blood.

Moses then took the blood, sprinkled it on the people and said, ‘This is the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.’” Exodus 24:8

Our God, Jehovah is a covenant-maker and a covenant-keeper. We are the ones who fail to keep the treaty “between me and Thee”…the Lord God is unfailing. Moses was the priest who sealed Israel’s Testament---Jesus, the greater; our Great High Priest sealed the New Testament.

Therefore, since we have a great high Priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.” Hebrews 4:14
So be it.

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