God Has Spoken • Hebrews 1:1-2a

I.   INTRODUCTION

A. Where Are We Going?

1.  The more you observe people, you realize they tend to fall into one of two categories in a lot of areas.

a.  what makes it interesting is to realize that in marriage,

b.  a husband and wife are usually opposites in this regard

c.  she falls in to one category while he is in the other

2.  For instance – when it comes to communication, people tend to be either bottom-liners or story-tellers • Right?

a.  the bottom-liner likes move the conversation to the bottom line as quickly as possible

b.  while the story-teller has to set it up with a detailed review of their entire day.

c.  as the bottom-liner listens to the story-teller, he or she is going [roll hand in a circle]

d.  as the story-teller listens to the bottom-liner, they’re wondering why he’s so abrupt and when the explanation is going to be given

e.  example: “How was your day?”

3.  Then there’s the time-issue.

a.  some people are prompt and when they make an appointment – they make sure they are there a couple minutes early so that they are actually THERE when the time arrives.

b.  others are promptness-challenged;

c.  for them, the time of the appointment means the time to start getting ready for it

4.  There are lots more of these two-category issues of life we could talk about but the one I want to talk about this morning is travel.

a.  people tend to fall in to two categories here as well.

b.  you see, some people just like to go for a drive.

1) the idea of getting in the car and going for a ride through the country-side is fun, maybe even romantic.

2) they like to look out at the hillsides, or the shop windows.

c.  the other category of people see travel as a means of going some where.

1) before they even get in the car, they want to know, “Where are we going?”

2) once that’s settled they ask, “What’s the most efficient route for getting there?”

B. Life Has A Goal – A Destination

1.  Life is like travel.

a.  some people are content to just enjoy the ride and aren’t particularly concerned with where they are going

b.  others understand life as having a purpose, a goal; that there is a direction and destination.

2.  God wants us to know that life is more than just a succession of days followed by nights, followed by another day.

3.  This life has a goal, a great destination!

4.  This journey called living may be filled with lots of interesting sights and sounds along the way, but we must never forget that it’s moving inexorably toward an end, which is in itself a new beginning.

5.  God has not been silent about both this life and it’s destination.

6.  From the dawn of creation, He’s been speaking to man, revealing Himself and the purpose and meaning of our lives.

7.  This is what we learn in our text today . . .

II.  TEXT

A. Vs. 1-2

1      God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,

2      has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;

1.  The writer’s main point here is that God Has Spoken!

2.  He is not silent – It is part of His very nature to reveal Himself!

3.  To that end, He’s spoken in various ways throughout history.

4.  Why is it then that so many people seem to miss out and hear nothing?

5.  Ingmar Bergman, the famous Swedish filmmaker of a generation ago, tells the story behind one of his most celebrated films, The Silence.

a.  while listening to a classical composition by Stravinsky, he was moved to remember a visit he’d recently had to a 19th Century cathedral.

b.  he remembered a beautiful stained glass portrait of Christ as the Good Shepherd and how it had filled him with the same kind of awe he experienced as he listened to Stravinsky.

c.  in his memory, stirred as he was & filled with the sense that he was in the presence of something bigger than himself, he stood before that portrait and said, “Speak to me.”

d.  silence was all he heard.

e.  “Speak to me, “ he demanded, “I will not leave this place until you speak to me.”

f.   but the figure did not speak, and that same year, Bergman produced The Silence, a film about people who despair of ever finding God.

6.  Bergman made the mistake many people have made.

7.  They demand that God speak to them on their terms – in their time – by their means.

8.  And when He doesn’t come through, they chalk it up to the impotence of God rather than realizing their demand is a stubborn reflection of their own fallenness and refusal to come to God on HIS terms.

9.  You see God HAS Spoken - His Word is loud and clear!

a.  God is not silent

c.  the problem is, we are not listening!

B. Rarely Spoke

1.  I’m reminded of an episode from a television show I saw many years ago that made quite an impression on me.

2.  There was a group of nearly a dozen college students who were all friends.

3.  One of them was quite an odd-ball; he rarely spoke – but when he did it was always to utter some profound word of wisdom that amazed everyone.

a.  whenever the group had some problem to overcome, they would ask him what to do

b.  he never answered right away, but would wait, lying on his back as if asleep, sometimes for 20 or 30 minutes

c.  then he would sit up, utter something amazing, and lie back down

d.  whatever he said was always the perfect solution to whatever needed to be done.

4.  Well, as the show went on, the group started asking deeper & deeper questions and finally came up with the ultimate query – “What’s the meaning of life?”

5.  They asked their odd-ball friend and then sat down to await his reply.

6.  But he just lay on his back and seemed to become comatose.

a.  no one could stir him

b.  he was locked in a trance of some kind

7.  The minutes of waiting turned to hours, the hours turned in to a couple days; and the group became restless.

a.  they began whispering to each other

b.  the whispers turned into hushed conversations

c.  the volume began to grow even louder

d.  soon the room was filled with regular talking & laughing

e.  someone went out and brought back pizza

f.   someone else called some friends to come over

g.  and soon a party was in full swing

8.  With the music blaring, people laughing and yelling across the room at each other, we watch as the odd-ball awakens from his trance – sits up, and mouths some words we cannot hear because of the noise.

9.  Not a single person in the room paid him any attention; they were too caught up in their revelry and merry-making.

10.     The final scene showed the man and woman leader of the group noticing the odd-ball was lying back down.

a.  they realized they’d missed his answer.

b.  the woman said to the man “Look – he must have just told us the meaning of life.”

c.  to which the man replied as he tilted his bottle of soda in a mock toast to her, “So what!  I think we’ve already discovered it and are enjoying it right now!”

11.     The scene fades and the credits role.

12.     Thinking back on the message of that television show, I’m not sure if the writers were mocking the shallowness of modern life or making a statement that ultimately there is nothing more to life than having a good time and that it’s pointless to try and find some larger purpose beyond the pleasure of this moment.

13.     God has spoken – but many do not hear Him because they aren’t really listening.

14.     A couple years ago, my daughter used to do something really annoying;

a.  she would ask me a question while we’d be watching TV

b.  when I would answer her, I’d notice that she’d turn her attention back to the TV

c.  so I’d stop and say, “Karesse  - what did I just say?”

d.  she’d just give me a blank stare.

15.     This is what many people do with God

a.  they demand that He reveal Himself – that He speak to them

b.  but they don’t look to the very things God has given as His revelation

c.  they want something unique – something easy,

d.  something that involves less work and effort than reading the Bible or going to church.

16.     The man or woman who’s sincere and genuinely wants to hear from God will come to Him on His terms and investigate His revelation.

17.     For you see, as it say here in Hebrews 1:1 – God has spoken

C. God Has Spoken Through Creation

1.  Look at v. 1. . .

1      God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,

2      has in these last days spoken to us by His Son,

2.  God has spoken in various ways and at various times throughout history

3.  The most obvious way that He’s revealed Himself is in the creation itself.

4.  King David put it this way in Psalm 19

1   The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.

2   Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge.

3   There is no speech nor language Where their voice is not heard.

4   Their sound has gone out through all the earth, And their words to the end of the world.

5.  In Romans 1, the Apostle Paul, puts it this way -    [v. 20]

Since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.

a.  the existence of creation demands the eternal existence of an all-powerful God.

b.  the most basic logic proves beyond doubt that if there is a creation – there must be a Creator!

c.  to deny this, is to uproot all reason – it’s to commit intellectual suicide

6.  That is what David is saying in Psalm 19

a.  every human being who has ever lived, regardless of where or when,

b.  has always been able to look up into the skies and see the signature of God.

c.  the night sky, like a glorious black canvas pierced with thousands of points of light shouts out one thing – “A great-big, glorious God made me!”

7.  As the science of astronomy has progressed and we’ve learned more and more about the universe, it’s not diminished our appreciation of the glory or message of the heavens.

8.  On the contrary – it’s enhanced it.

a.  for now we realize that the stars are not merely holes in a dark shell

b.  they are massive balls of energy burning at a rate that staggers the imagination.

c.  astronomy has enlarged our universe, not shrunk it.

9.  Johannes Kepler, the father of modern astronomy said, “The undevout astronomer is mad!”

10.     How many of you like amusement park rides?  Have you been on Goliath?

11.     Check this out –

a.  right now you are on a cosmic thrill ride

b.  the Earth is spinning on it’s axis at a rate of about a  thousand mph.

c.  as it travels around the sun, it is going 66,000 mph.

d.  our entire solar system is moving inside the Milky Way galaxy at nearly 45,000 mph

e.  and to cap it off, the whole of the Milky Way is moving at almost 400 mph.

f.   thank God for hairspray!        [A nod to Jon Courson for that one]

12.     Truly God has spoken through Creation – and what He’s told us is that He is eternal and all-powerful

D. God Has Spoken Through Conscience

1.  Another way God has spoken to all people, at all times and places, is through conscience.

2.  In Romans 2:14-15 the Apostle Paul says . . .

14 When Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves,

15 [they] show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them.

3.  Throughout history, people have known intuitively that there is a God who stands as a righteous Judge over all the earth and they are accountable to Him for how they live.

4.  This fundamental part of human intuition has taken different form in the various philosophical and religious traditions of man, but there is a common thread that ties it all together – and that is this . . .

5.  There is an objective right and wrong, and one day, we will all have to give account for how we have lived.

E. God Has Spoken Through The Prophets

1.  The third way God has spoken is spelled out here in v. 1

2.  God has spoken in the past through the prophets.

3.  While creation and conscience are forms of general revelation and so are subject to various interpretations by man –

4.  God’s revelation via the prophets is special and isn’t subject to interpretation.

5.  What God means to say, He says clearly.

6.  As the writer says here – God has spoken through the prophets in various ways.

a.  He spoke to Moses in a burning bush

b.  to Elijah, it was a still, small voice.

c.  to Isaiah, it was visions

d.  for Hosea it was through his relationship with his wife and children

e.  Amos was confronted with a basket of summer fruit

f.   the high priest heard from God through the Urim and Thummim

g.  others talked with angels

h.  the nation of Israel followed a pillar of fire and smoke

7.  God spoke to Abraham in Ur, to Moses in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, to Ezekiel in Babylon, and to Malachi in Jerusalem.

8.  And all throughout this process of speaking by the prophets, God was giving a progressive revelation of Himself and His plan for His people.

9.  Word upon word and line upon line, He communicated just as much as the people could bear to hear.

10.     For you see, the Word and revelation of God is incredibly powerful.

a.  when God speaks, the earth itself is shaken

b.  we think of Moses and the nation of Israel at Mt. Sinai.

c.  God descended in glory on top of the mount

d.  then He uttered the words of the 10 commandments

e.  when He was done, the people were so overwhelmed, so completely filled with awe, they could not bear to hear another word and plead with Moses that he go and talk with God on their behalf and then come back and report to them what God has said.

f.   in Revelation, John describes the voice of God being like the sound of many waters.

g.  I’ve not been to Niagara but I have been to the base of Yosemite Falls.

1) I’m told that at Niagara, the roar is so great, the ground vibrates and the very air pulses with sound created by the falling water.

2) standing near the falls at Yosemite, I am overcome by the power of the water

3) you literally cannot hear someone yelling directly in your ear!

4) the sound of the falls drowns out every other sound

h.  what an apt picture of the voice of God!

11.God knows the frailty and limitations of man – so in the past, He did not dump all His word on us in one heaping portion

12.     He measured it out to this prophet, then to that – and as each faithfully communicated the message of God he’d been given – a body of revelation built up till the time came for the capstone – the Last Word that would seal and consummate all that had come before.

13.     It is that consummation we read about in v. 2

F. God Has Spoken Through His Son

1      God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,

2      has in these last days spoken to us by His Son,

1.  There is an important truth given here that’s obscured by the translation in to English.

2.  What the writer says is this:

a.  while God has spoken in previous ages through  the prophets,

b.  now we’ve come to the last age, and in this last era of history, God has spoken IN, not through,  the Son.

3.  The past were the Introduction and chapters 1 through 6 of history.

4.  And the story was told by men inspired by the Spirit of God.

5.  But now we’ve come to chapter 7 – the last chapter, and it’s written by God Himself.

6.  God’s Word to the prophets was a message of anticipation.

7.  But in Christ, God Himself takes on human form and speaks the Word of consummation and completion.

III. CONCLUSION

A. What This Means

1.  What this means for us is that in Jesus we find the fullness of the revelation of God, and so, the Sum of all Truth, Understanding, and Wisdom.

2.  The sincere seeker after truth will end their search in Christ.

3.  The person who says they’re a seeker, but who’s rejected the revelation of God in His Son, is fooling no one but him or herself.

4.  For Jesus IS  The Way, The Truth, and The Life!

5.  He is the full and FINAL revelation of God.

6.  All those who claim that God has given further revelation and deeper truth since Christ demean God’s final word in His Son.

7.  While it’s true that the revelation of God was progressive through the prophets before Christ, revelation is no longer progressing – for Jesus is the capstone and focus of all revelation.

8.  Here’s how this truth impacts us today –

a.  Jesus is the focal point and goal of History

b.  He is the one the prophets pointed to

c.  the last period of human history began with His birth, death and resurrection and will end with His return in glory.

d.  but this whole era in which we live finds it’s center and purpose in one thing – Jesus Christ!

9.  If you want to know the meaning and purpose of life – if you long to understand where life is headed, what’s the goal, the great destination all our days are heading toward – then look to Jesus Christ!

10.     In Ephesians 1:10, we’re told that the great end of all things is to be gathered together for and to Christ.  He is the object and destiny of history

11.     What is true of the end of days is true for each of these days.

12.     We live for Christ – we exist for His pleasure.

13.     And in Him we find the final and full Word of all Truth and Wisdom.

B. Look To Him

1.  Who do you go to when you need counsel?

2.  Who do you look to when you have a problem and need help?

3.  Do you look to man?  Do you consult “the experts?”

4.  Do you call the Psychic Hotline for your free Tarot Reading?

5.  Look to Jesus – He is God’s final and complete Word.

6.  Do you want to make sense of what’s going on in your life?

a.  why your marriage is going through the problems it is?

b.  why your finances are a mess?

c.  why your relative is ill?

d.  why your kids are wigging out?

e.  then put Jesus in the middle of it!

1) He is the key that unlocks every mystery -- the solution to every problem.

2) He is the balm to sooth every wound -- the cool hand for every fevered brow.

3) He is the light in your darkness.