Tuesday, February 22, 2011


God speaks into the context of our experience. He uses the images, words and places with which we are familiar when he does speak to us. When prophets communicate their words, they used words and images with which their listeners are familiar. All the prophets did this.

Sometimes God gives a seer a vision, so he can show things that go beyond familiar words and images. The seen has to translate what he saw using the words and images with which he was familiar. John’s Revelation is a good example of this. Here is a description of something he saw.

At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne (Rev 4:2-3).
I doubt that John saw jaspars, rubies and emeralds. These are physical things and John had been given a glimpse into the spiritual world. John saw something that was beyond is earthly experience, so he was trying to describe the indescribable. He used images of the most beautiful things he knew to describe the wonder of the spiritual world, but even this gives just a hint of its glory.

At other times, God uses images just to strengthen the power of communication. Audio-visual communication is often more effective that written communication. We remember things that we see better.

The biblical prophets used everyday language and context to describe what they saw, but they were also very clear about what was a revelation from God and what was a description of their response or their experience.


Jeroen said...

Hi Ron,

I hope you and your family are doing fine.


Anonymous said...

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Blessings, Glorianna