“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds” — Hebrews 1:1-2
The God of creation did not just create man and leave him to his own devices. God spoke to man in order that man can know what is desired of him.
The way God speaks to man has changed down through the centuries. In the three dispensations of time — Patriarchal, Mosaic, Christian — God has allowed man to know his laws.
In the beginning, God spoke directly to man during what is called the Patriarchal age. You probably remember many of those who lived during this time period. Adam, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph and Job were all part of this time. Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden were told by God the things they could do and not do (Genesis 2, 3).
Later, Noah was told by God to build an ark so that the righteous and all the animals could escape the flood. This account shows how God is specific in what he wants man to do. The ark was to be built of a certain material and size. Noah followed God’s instructions and was saved from the flood.
God also spoke to Abraham, promising that through him, all nations of Earth would be blessed. This was the promise of Christ coming into the world. “Now the Lord had said unto Abram, ‘Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee. And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing. And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee, and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed’” (Genesis 12:1-3).
Abram became the leader of a great nation, just as God had promised him, and Jesus came into the world though Abram’s descendants.
Following the time when God spoke to the fathers, he gave man the written word. This happened on Mount Sinai when Moses was given the Law. The Law of Moses was designed to help direct the people until the time when Christ came and was given because of the sins of the people. In our lesson text today, Paul referred to it as a school master to bring us unto Christ.
Even though the law was added to the promise God made to Abraham, it did not change the promise. Christ still would come because while the law was from God, it was not designed to take the place of our Savior.
The final time period — the one in which we are living — is called the Christian age. During this time, we are to listen to the words of Christ. Jesus also told about the importance of man following his words. “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him, the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:48).
The God of heaven always has let man know what to do to please him. The sad thing is that, time and again, man has determined not to listen to God or to try and change what God has said. This has led and always will lead man away from God. We need to understand that God wants all to be saved, but we must follow his commands.
God has spoken to man, and man needs to listen to his word and obey it by obeying the Gospel.