by Michael E. Brooks
“The word of the Lord that came to Hosea the son of Beeri” (Hosea 1:1, NKJV).
“Please write me. I need your encouragement and your teaching. I want your instructions and advice on how to preach the Gospel and do the work of an evangelist. Don’t forget -– write me”
(various indigenous evangelists and Christians over the past 20 plus years).
Most of us enjoy checking our mail, whether it is on the net or in the box. There is something about a personal letter that warms us. Yes, we may complain about the junk mail, or spam, and we may be too busy to read all that we feel we need to, but I don’t know anyone who does not open and read his or her first class letters as soon as the opportunity is provided.
How often have we thought, “I wish we were still in the days of direct divine revelation and that God would speak to me like he did the apostles and the prophets of old?”
What a special blessing it must have been to hear the actual voice of the Creator speaking a special message to his people for one to deliver on his behalf. Hosea, Joel, Micah, and other Old Testament prophets received those “words of the Lord.” They certainly were greatly privileged to be so used in his service.
But is it true that we don’t have personal messages from God today? No, I am not suggesting that miraculous direct revelation has continued. God spoke during the Biblical period; his complete and final revelation has been given. We do not hear the Spirit today (Galatians 1:6-10).
But we still have the words of God which were revealed through his Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:6-13). These words are contained in the Bible, the holy inspired Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:15-17).
And these words were spoken to and for each one of us.
“For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope” (Romans 15:4).
The Bible is God’s personal correspondence to every human!
That generations of people before us have read, known and loved these words in no way makes them less personal to us. God has spoken, but he did not speak just generally, or only to others. He has spoken to you and to me, individually and personally. And we are individually and personally accountable for those words, to read them, believe them and obey them. Open the envelope. Read your mail.
“The Lord God has spoken! Who can but prophesy?” (Amos 3:8)