March 10, 2013

When God Chooses to Write

Holy Scripture records three times that God wrote with His own hand. The Ten
Commandments were said to be written on tablets of stone by the finger of God. “And
when He had made an end of speaking with him on Mount Sinai, He gave Moses two
tablets of the Testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God.” (Ex. 31:18)
In the book of Daniel we are told that the hand of God wrote on the palace wall
during Belshazzar’s drunken feast. “Then the fingers of the hand were sent from Him,
and this writing was written.” (Daniel 5:24)
The third account is that of Jesus stooping down to write in the dust outside
Jerusalem’s temple. “…but Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His
finger, as though He did not hear.” (John 8:6) “And again He stooped down and wrote
on the ground.” (John 8:8)
There is a sequence and a progressive revelation in these accounts. Let us look at
them briefly. First we have the giving of God’s law, a law that is holy and flawless.
There is just one problem, and that problem is us. We are not holy and flawless.
This quickly brings us to the second time we see God writing. The handwriting, as
they say, really is on the wall. The message is clear. It says you have been weighed in
the balances and found wanting. Doom is in the future.
Thankfully, the handwriting of Jesus that day in Jerusalem is the best message of all.
What He wrote, if anything at all, we may never know. What He meant can be known
by all who have ears to hear. In that encounter with the accusers and the accused, He
says, “For those who cannot keep the Father’s Holy law, for those weighed and found
wanting, for those caught in the very act of sin—there is no condemnation. I have
become sin in your place, that you may have My righteousness.”