The God of creation did not just create man and leave him to his own devices. God speaks to man so man can know what God desires of him. The way God speaks to man has changed thorough the centuries of time.
In the beginning, God spoke directly to man. This time in history is called the Patriarchal age. You probably remember many of those who lived during this time period. Adam, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Job, were all part of this time. Noah was told by God to build an ark, so the righteous and all the animals could escape the flood. This account shows how God is specific in what he wants man to do. Noah followed God’s instructions and was saved from the flood.
God also spoke to Abraham, promising him that through him all nations of the 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” (Gen. 12:1-3).
Following the time when God spoke to the fathers, he gave man the written word. This happened on Mt. Sinai when Moses was given the law. The law of Moses was designed to help direct the people until the time when Christ came. It 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 would still 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. It is during this time that we are to listen to the words of Christ. Remember the words of our memory work? “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” (Heb. 1:1,2).
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).
Yes, the God of heaven has always let man know what to do to please him. The sad thing is that time and again man has been determined not to listen to God, or to try and change what God has said. This has and will always lead man away from God. We need to understand that God wants all to be saved but we must follow his commands.