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Courage and Obedience: Women of the Old Testament, Part Two - A gray stone wall, arched window, red drape. Courage and Obedience: Women of the Old Testament, Part Two - A gray stone wall, arched window, red drape.

Questions and Answers | Courage and Obedience

How can I hear God speak to me?

The author of Hebrews tells us that “in the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways” (Heb. 1:1). In the past, God spoke to people through visions, dreams, audible voices, and even angelic messengers. While I would be reluctant to say that these methods of communication are not possible today, we must be careful before ascribing any such voices to God.

One way we can be certain God speaks to us today is through the Bible, God’s Word. The Lord Jesus said, “Whoever belongs to God hears what God says” (John 8:47). We must read the Bible with open and responsive hearts to grasp the truths God is telling us. I have found it helpful, when reading the Bible, to look for the plain meaning in context. I put on my SPECS, asking, Does this passage have a: Sin to avoid, Promise to claim, Example to follow, Command to obey, or Statement of truth?

In 1972, when my friend Larry became a Jesus follower, he wondered how God would speak to him. A friend told him God would speak through the Bible. That day Larry resolved to read the Scriptures every day. And now, 50 years later, he has not missed one day! I agree with the advice Larry would give: If I want to hear God speak to me, I must determine to listen to His voice by reading His Word, every day!

Why did Jesus say John was great but the least of men would be greater than John? Since John was martyred, wouldn't he get special approval?

When John the Baptist was in prison, he sent his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” (Matt. 11:3). After giving evidence for His being the Messiah (vv. 4–6), the Lord Jesus affirmed John’s greatness (vv. 7–11). Jesus said, “Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he” (v. 11).

The issue of John’s martyrdom is unrelated. Jesus was identifying John as the greatest prophet, not the greatest man. John fulfilled Malachi’s prediction of the one who would announce the Messiah (Mal. 3:1). As a rule, the greater the revelation, the greater the prophet.

But why would the least in the kingdom be greater than John? We who have come to know the Messiah Jesus have been given much more revelation than John, including the whole New Testament. This greater revelation makes even the least of us greater than John. It’s like this: Eddie Rickenbacker was the ace of all U.S. World War I pilots. Yet, today, the lowliest pilot of an F18 Hornet would be greater than Rickenbacker.

We can take heart that even when we experience doubt and discouragement, the Lord Jesus has affirmed us because of the far greater revelation we proclaim today. The revelation we have been given through Scripture is even greater than what the greatest prophet was given.

Who wrote the Genesis account of Creation?

The simple answer is Moses. He wrote the entire Torah (the Law), also called the Pentateuch (Genesis through Deuteronomy). The Lord Jesus described the Torah as “the Book of Moses” (Mark 12:26) and the apostle Paul said, “Moses writes this about the righteousness that is by the law” (Rom. 10:5) and then quotes from Leviticus 18:5. Some have objected that these references only refer to Moses as Lawgiver of the Sinai covenant and not as the author of Genesis. However, in John 7:22, the Lord Jesus stated that Moses had given the Jewish people circumcision, referring to Genesis 17:9–14. Further, Paul wrote in Romans 3:31–4:5 that justification by faith was taught in the Law and then quoted Genesis 15:6 as support. The point is that both the Lord Jesus and Paul said that Moses wrote the Torah and they included Genesis as a part of it.

So how did Moses know what happened at Creation if he wasn’t an eyewitness? That answer is unknown, but there are three possibilities. First, God may have given Moses direct revelation (Num. 12:6–8). Second, Moses may have used written traditions passed down to the Jewish people. Or third, he may have received oral traditions from his mother Jochebed. The Bible teaches that whatever source Moses used, he was carried along by the Holy Spirit when he wrote (2 Peter 1:21), and the book he wrote was God-breathed, or inspired, (2 Tim. 3:16). Therefore, this creation account is true and accurate because the Lord Jesus said, “Your word is truth” (John 17:17).

BY Dr. Michael Rydelnik

Dr. Michael Rydelnik is a professor of Jewish Studies at Moody Bible Institute and the host of Moody Radio’s Open Line with Michael Rydelnik. He is the author of 50 Most Important Bible Questions inspired by both his radio show and his columns for Today in the Word. Michael served on the translation team of the Holman CSB Bible and contributed to several other books and study Bibles. Michael also appeared in the Lee Stroebel video The Case for Christ. Michael and his wife, Eva, have two adult sons. The Rydelniks live in Chicago, Ill.

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