Have you wondered what would you say, or do, if God actually spoke to you? Literally. I’d like to think I would have many questions for Him, and engage in a conversation. For some reason I don’t think that’s how it would go. Today God uses many ways to speak to us. Ways that reveal Himself to us, to draw us to him. Even in a tattoo.
The bible is full of ways that God spoke to his people. To mention all of them would make this a book, not a blog. In Genesis chapters two, and three, God spoke directly to Adam and Eve. God told them not to eat the fruit on the tree of good and evil, and then after they did, He asked them about it. In Genesis 3:10, after Adam recognizes the mistake they made hides from God. That would probably be my initial reaction, to hide. The assumption I draw from this is Adam and Eve had the privilege to see God as they spoke to him. After Adam and Eve are banished from the garden God still spoke through other means.
Then God moves to speak directly through a burning bush to Moses. In Exodus chapter three, Moses is out tending to his flock when he comes upon a bush that is on fire. One thing was different, the bush was not burning as the flames consumed it. Then he heard a voice from within call his name, “Moses, Moses” Ex. 3:4 NLT. Moses responds, then he and God engage in a conversation through the fire. Move further along in Exodus chapter thirty-three, Moses still speaks to God. He is on the top of Mt. Sinai and God is in the clouds. Moses asks to see God’s face, “Show me your glorious presence,” God responds, “I will show you but you may not look upon my face, for no one may see me and live. I will place you on a rock, and as I pass by cover your face, then after I pass you can remove your hand and see me from behind.” Ex. 33: 18-23 NLT.
God’s creative ways are never at a loss. In Numbers 22:28, God speaks through the mouth of a donkey. Yes. A donkey. An animal. Can you imagine? In the story, Balaam was so mad at his donkey that he was beating it, and in his anger didn’t recognize the Angel standing right in front of him. That has to be pretty upset not to even notice.
Judges Chapter six, God speaks through an Angel, and a wool fleece. A blanket. God has commanded Gideon and his army to conquer the Midianites. The Midianites were a powerful force, and Gideon was scared, felt unprepared, unqualified, and unequipped for the battle. Gideon asks God to reveal he is with them by making the blanket wet when he wakes in the morning. The blanket would be wet and the ground dry. Then after God did that Gideon reversed it, and asked God to make the blanket dry, while the floor all around it is wet. God did both as noted in Judges 6: 36-40 NLT.
So far we have: face to face, in a burning bush, in a cloud, from a donkey, from a blanket, and now from dead bones! In Ezekiel chapter thirty-seven, in the valley of dry bones, God puts life back into dead, dry, bones. In an instant, “they all come to life and stood up on their feet – a great army.” Ex. 37:10. When God does something it is never small! It is never ordinary! It is always mind-blowing, and life-altering!
God can use anything, or anyone, to get His message out; to make Himself known. I was at the gym, and happen to be speaking to a fellow gym member about the time my son wanted to get a tattoo. He was living at home, and still in high school. Another gym member overheard, came up to us, and began sharing her story of a girl she knows that has a tattoo. This young girl in her twenties, did not believe in God, or the bible, yet her tattoo is a scripture verse. The girl never knew it was scripture from the bible. She thought Bob Marley said it originally. When someone asked about her tattoo, by asking her if that was her favorite bible verse, or had special meaning behind it, she was shocked at the revelation. This verse that she looked at daily, memorized the words, and idolized the man that she thought said it, she was taken back upon her discovery, it was not Bob Marley that said it; but God.
This God she did not believe in, had used a tattoo artist to engrave His Word onto her. Even if she were to have it removed it is instilled in her heart and mind. His word, “is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow.” Heb. 4:12 NLT. It cuts itself into the skin and remains, even in a tattoo. The ironic thing to me was, this young girl’s comment was “a good man said those words, Bob Marley.” No dear child you have it partially correct; a good man did say them, that good man was God.
God can use anyone, and any instance to get His message across, “and after the earthquake there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper,” do you hear what I hear? 1 Ki, 19:12. Even in a tattoo.
*picture from creativefan