“1 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets…” -Hebrews 1:1
Why did God choose to relay His Word to mankind through prophets in the days of old? If there was something that He wanted the people to know so badly, then why didn’t He just tell them Himself?
If you are like me, then maybe you have been pondering some of these questions too. Well, let me assure you, the answer to these questions (and many more) can be found in the pages of Scripture. In fact, in the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy, Moses gives the answer to these questions as he prepares Israel to enter into the Promise Land:
“15 The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers–it is to him you shall listen–16 just as you desired of the LORD your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you said, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God or see this great fire any more, lest I die.'” 17 And the LORD said to me, ‘They are right in what they have spoken. 18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. 19 And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him.”-Deuteronomy 18: 15-19
See, the answer to these questions is simple: God chose to speak through prophets because man could not tolerate communicating directly with God. To do so would put sinful man in the presence of a holy God. It was too much for the Israelites to bear. So God, out of His gracious love & mercy, elected a “buffer.” He ordained and prepared certain men to bear the awesome responsibility of recieving His words and dispursing them to others.
It was not that God was incapable, insensitive or even unwilling to speak directly to men. It was men, who begged Him NOT to speak. In essence, God’s providence allowed the Isrealites to realize the fulness of their sin before Him, so that they would rather deny direct revelation from God than to bear the full weight of their sin. It was a gracious and merciful act of God to provide a prophet to shield them from His holiness.
But, by God’s amazing & merciful grace, believers in this age no longer need to be concerned about such things though because God has chosen to reveal Himself through different means. He no longer uses prophets, but has revealed Himself in His Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ:
“… 2 but in these last days he has spoke to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.”-Hebrews 1:2
In fact, many would argue that the end of the passage in Deuteronomy (quoted above) ultimately refers to Jesus Christ. He is our final Prophet. In addition, He is the “exact imprint of [God’s] nature” and all that we need to know about God is now contained in Him, as revealed in the pages of Scripture (Hebrews 1:3). Glory be to Jesus Christ our Savior and God our Father!