What do … Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, Flickr, Reddit, Snapchat, WhatApp, Quaroa, Vine, Periscope, BizSugar, StumbleUpon, Delicious, Digg, and Viber, all have in common? These are the most popular social media sites on which people of all ages communicate today. If you’re over a certain age, you may only know two or three of these names. If you’re younger, or more tech-savvy you may know and use all these sites.
When I was growing up, and someone used the term “media”, my mind went to TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, films, or recordings. These were the primary means of getting information for me. With the onset of the internet, and data moving at lightning speeds to a plethora of mobile devices, “media” becomes something like a quagmire of indecipherable voices and messages.
God also uses a wide variety of media (means) to communicate with humanity. There are times when God might speak directly, His voice booming from Mount Sinai in Exodus 20. You could say God used sound waves, carried on the wind, to reach the eardrums of His people. Every single time God desires to communicate with humans He finds some means in His own creation to do so.
For simplicity I’ve broken all these means down into three categories: events, words, and persons. We’ll begin with events first.
Psalm 19:1 says,
The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship.
Romans 1:18-32 also gives a great rendition of how God proclaims Himself in nature and in general history. You might want to spend some time with this passage of Scripture.
These kinds of “events”or revelations from God are called “natural” or “general” revelation, because they are meant for every single person who has lived, is living, or will ever live upon the earth.
Simply by looking at creation, every person has the created capacity within themselves to see God clearly, and nobody can claim that God hasn’t revealed Himself with clarity.
Even in this simplistic revelation of nature/history we are able to not just know about Him, but to know Him personally. These natural revelations teach us about God’s nature (control, authority, and presence), but not the specifics of redemption. We see these and come to know who God is, that He exists, but this general revelation doesn’t tell us how to be saved.
It is God’s Word (Scripture) that tells the story of salvation through Christ, beginning all the way back in the Garden at creation (Genesis 3:15). This is followed by a long recitation of different covenants God makes with man [Noah, Abraham, Moses, David… then Jesus Christ]. All of these events (stories) from the Bible, in contrast with General Revelation, tell us about God’s saving purposes for mankind.
This revelation was made known in the history of man, and we know it now only when we read about these events (found in the Bible) as they happened in the past.
One of the main media (means) of Events where God reveals Himself is in God’s miracles. Miracles are signs/events which demonstrate God’s Lordship. For a quick review of miracles, click here.
Next time we’ll look at another media (means): WORDS.
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