I am beginning a personal study of the Book of Hebrews and as part of the adventure into these passages I want to get as much of the background story as I can. It’s not where everybody begins but I enjoy trying to piece together the surroundings the Almighty chose as the very place He would have the quill hit the parchment. I love the idea of leaning over the author’s shoulder as he receives Divine inspiration and trying to imagine how it all unfolded. What did he experience as the Spirit settled upon him? What kind of expressions crossed his face as he drank in the Word of God? How long did it take him to understand what was happening –did he know immediately or was it a process? Did he smile at the thought that the God of heaven and earth was chatting so loudly or was it more like a holy whisper that made his hands shake as he tried to get it all down? These are the kinds of things that I like to think on and wonder over when I start out on the quest of new treasure.
This particular excavation of Truth –this specific seeking of treasure– has however, begun much differently than what I anticipated when I settled into my chair. To say that my expected beginning has taken a very unexpected turn would fall far short of describing my experience this morning as God confirmed for me again at least two things that He has been whispering in my ear since He and I began this journey.
First, He will – in all of His ExtraOrdinariness – speak loudly to the utterly ordinary among us. I believe this so completely that I’ve made the declaration of it a permanent part of the blog in the Message From a Fellow Sojourner:
Beloved, God has gone to great lengths to whisper to your heart and reveal His Nature to you in personal, unique ways. My own experience confirms for me that neither a righteous background nor an extraordinary intellect is a requirement for looking beyond what we can see and Glimpsing the Glory of the One we cannot. In fact, I am walking, talking assurance that the “Extraordinary of God” will be revealed to the most unrighteous and utterly ordinary among us. Never doubt that the Creator of communication is fluent in the language of your unique soul as well.
And isn’t it beautiful that He will keep repeating Himself, over and over again, until He’s certain the lesson He is teaching is etched on our souls. He’s so dedicated to engraving His image on us that He perseveres in stamping Himself on our hearts . . . all for our benefit. It doesn’t change Him in any way but Sister, it changes us.
See, what I expected when I grabbed my coffee and Bible this morning was to add some texture to the fabric of the message I was going to read after I poked around into the history of the human who was entrusted with the task of putting it all down for the generations to come. What I didn’t expect was to have God show up in all of His hugeness and stitch together such a beautiful backdrop before I even read Hebrews 1:1. Full confession is . . . I still haven’t made it that far.
The God of More had planned to drench me in Himself before I even dipped my toes into the pages of the Scripture. The Extraordinary seemed to be reminding this ordinary woman that He would not be confined by her idea of when and where she would hear Him. No, He could and He would give voice to the message He had prepared anywhere, any time, and in any way He chose.
I’m trying to think of a better way to describe all that God has shown me this morning but the one word that keeps entering my mind is “nothing.” I don’t have the space to detail it and the way it all unfolded because He chatted so fast and so loud but in its most scant outline it went something like this in my spirit . . .
I read a couple of resource books and thought:
Hmm . . . different scholars posit different possible authors – some of the arguments are good others—not so much. What does that mean for me as I start this study?
I typed the answer to the question I posed to myself and noted the Scripture that brought me to my response:
My response to the challenge of human authorship: All Scripture is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16) and brought into existence to accomplish the purpose for which He sent it (Isaiah 55:10-11) – while the debate to determine the human hand that held the quill may be of scholarly interest –the power of the Word lies with the Almighty Author (Hebrews 4:12).
I pondered on it:
That’s really true of the entire Bible. It doesn’t really matter who put the pen to paper in any of the 66 books. It adds depth and gives application, and God chose them to convey His message, but the story is God’s – the message always belongs to Him. I wonder what those verses that came to mind read like lined up –from the New to the Old and then back again. Guess I’ll check that out.
I copied and pasted into a word document from the Amplified Bible (AMP) and then I read:
Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God’s will in thought, purpose, and action), so that the man of God may be complete and proficient, well fitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work. For as the rain and snow come down from the heavens, and return not there again, but water the earth and make it bring forth and sprout, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void [without producing any effect, useless], but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 Isaiah 55:10-11 Hebrews 4:12 AMP
Read back through it again! It is absolutely seamless—the Message of God from both sides of the Covenant Line. The utter constancy of God clearly stating that it is His Word and His Authority and His Voice that brings power and life to the black words on those white pages. And isn’t it sweet that He brought the whole thing to a point with the very book I am preparing to splash down in? I love Him so for putting me in the exact place I need to be as I begin this study. He took the distractions away and gave me “nothing” so I could receive the message straight from Him – not in awe of the dedication of the mortal author – not marveling over the tenacity of the human writer – but with my eyes and my heart marveling at HIM, the Immortal One.
Beloved, those three Scriptures only scratch the surface of the Holy Script He let me visit this morning. It was one thunderbolt after another (read fast because that’s the way He brought it all to mind in rapid-fire fashion) –
Isn’t He wild? What kind of King shows Himself to the servant that way? It’s astounding that He would welcome us into His Presence with such generosity. I am beside myself with glee at what lies ahead on this treasure hunt. Absolutely giddy at the possibilities He may lay out in front of me. And Girlfriend, Fellow God Seeker, this is just a small glimpse of Him, a little piece of His splendor. What will it be when we fully know as we are fully known?!?
Do you remember where all this began? It all began with finding nothing – no undebatable human author. He has brought us all this beauty, all this excitement, all the wonder from the discovery of “nothing” —but it strikes me as I type those words that I shouldn’t be surprised because isn’t that how He does? In Genesis 1:1 God speaks and “nothing” is transformed into the spectacular “something.” Just the sound of His Voice, giving form to the command of His Heart and “nothing” takes on a wild beauty that we can’t even comprehend.
“Nothing” is touched by the Breath and Heart of God and it becomes “something.”
Doesn’t that thought startle you just a little bit? The same Voice that spoke the world into existence . . . the same Heart that commanded beauty to be born . . . the Heavenly breath that turns “nothings” into “somethings” . . . Sweet Sister, He’s the One who speaks to you.
And that brings me to the second thing that I am certain He has confirmed for me again today and I hope He has spoken to your heart as well –our God, the One who loves you and the One who loves me, is always the God of More. He’s always more thrilling, more exhilarating, and more exciting than we could possibly dream up. When He shows us glimpses of the Who of Him and empties us of our own small expectations, when we come to Him with our “nothing,” . . . well Sister, transforming it to something is His specialty and it will always be more beautiful than our finite minds can conjure. I’m going to be so bold as to say that His reality will always surpass our dreams. It will always go beyond our wildest expectations and exceed our aspirations.
That Girlfriend, is the “something from nothing” life – originating in His Heart, beginning with His Voice, taking form at His command – He created you to live. So you press in close, hold out your cup full of nothing, empty yourself of your small expectations, trust Him to be Who He is and then you watch your beautiful something overflow.
(P.S. And so I finished all the detail work on this post but wanted to check a reference one last time. I went to Biblegateway and the verse staring back at me from their homepage . . .Hebrews 1:1-2!
[The Supremacy of God’s Son ] Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. Hebrews 1:1-2
I couldn’t make this stuff up — He is always the God of More! And I’m taking that gift from Him as the green light to actually jump into the Book of Hebrews! Isn’t He too good for words! Oh, Believe Him to be More today!! Blessings to you!)