By: Joyce Picker
I am fascinated by the phrase the “Finger of God”, so much so that I wanted to blog about it. That phrase appears in the Bible several times in both the New and Old Testaments. The Finger of God is the supernatural power of God and usually impacts many people or an event on the earth.
The Finger of God is a reference to God’s unlimited power as He intervenes directly in the affairs of men. The working of the Finger of God is unmistakable. No device of man can compete with that power. Since God is supernatural, we may not see fingers (but maybe we will) but instead a spiritual picture or fire rendering.
The first reference to the Finger of God is found in Exodus. Moses had just unleashed the third plague on Egypt in an effort to force Pharaoh to free the Israelites who had been held captive for four hundred years. The Lord instructed Moses to tell Aaron to stretch out his staff and “strike the dust of the earth, so that it may become gnats in all the land of Egypt” (Exodus 8:16). After Pharaoh’s magicians tried and failed to replicate the miracle, they said to Pharaoh, “This is the Finger of God”
The second reference to the Finger of God also occurs in Exodus, where the phrase is used about the tablets of stone given to Moses. These tablets contained the Covenant Law, (The 10 Commandments) “inscribed by the Finger of God” as seen in Exodus 31:18. Moses relates an account of the same incident in Deuteronomy 9:10: And the LORD delivered unto me two tables of stone written with the Finger of God; and on them [was written] according to all the words, which the LORD spoke with you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly.
We don’t know if God literally touched the tablets, since God is spirit and has no “fingers”; rather, the phrase the Finger of God is an anthropomorphism indicating that God directly caused the commandments to be engraved upon the stone. The 1956 movie The Ten Commandments depicts the writing as coming from a finger of fire, which is probably as good a rendering of the actual act as any. However, God accomplished it, the letters were devised and formed by Him, the writing was His, and the engraving on the stones was done by His own power. This is an excerpt from: Knowing God by J.I. Packer.
In Luke 11:20, Yeshua spoke of the “Finger of God” when he cast out devils. After freeing a blind and mute man from a demon, Yeshua said to His critics, “If I drive out demons by the Finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you” (Luke 11:20). In a parallel passage, the phrase is the Spirit of God rather than the Finger of God (Matthew 12:28). In both accounts, the meaning is that Yeshua performed miracles by the overt power of God, the same power that caused the gnats to swarm and the writing to appear on the tablets of stone.
I would like to continue this teaching about the Finger of God and talk a little bit about the Writing on the Wall because they are related.
In Daniel Chapter 5, we find a lavish party going on that King Belshazzar (King Nebuchadnezzar’s son) was giving in Babylon, the capital of the Chaldean Empire. The king held a banquet for a thousand of his nobles and other guests. In a sacrilegious act of disrespect for God, he and his guests toasted their pagan gods with the gold and silver vessels King Nebuchadnezzar had previously luted from the temple in Jerusalem. Daniel 5:4 says: As they drank the wine, they praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone.
While they were celebrating and getting drunk, the king was terrified when, without warning a disembodied hand appeared and began writing a message on the wall, near the lampstand in the royal palace. Can you imagine the absolute amazement and fear he must have felt?
The king watched the hand as it wrote. His face turned pale, and his knees started knocking. (Verses 5-6) So the king called for his wise men who were unable to explain the meaning of the words. See, you had to speak Holy Spirit language to understand. On advice from the queen, Daniel was summoned to interpret what the hand had written. At this point, Daniel was old but still filled with the Spirit of God. Daniel was known for having wisdom, knowledge, understanding, an interpreter of dreams and visions. That’s a great reputation to have, wouldn’t you say? Once Daniel was summoned, he delivered a message of disaster and catastrophe for the king and the Babylonian Empire. Daniel explained that the hand was sent from God, meaning it came from a divine source. (Verse 24).
The inscription contained four Aramaic words: “MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN”. Daniel then told the king the meaning of the words:
MENE: God used this word twice- so that means double trouble! “God has numbered your kingdom and finished it;”
TEKEL: “You have been weighed in the balances and found wanting;”
PERES: (UPHARIN) this is the plural of the singular word: PERES- “Your kingdom has been divided, and given to the Medes and Persians” (Verses 26-28)
That very night king Belshazzar, king of the Chaldeans, was slain! Darius, the Mede received the kingdom, he was 62 years old. (Verses 30-31).
Proof that the Finger of God is powerful, spiritual, accurate and effects a change that would re-write history.
I wanted to parallel this next story because I believe it is the Finger of God again and it’s very vivid.
John 8: 1-11 says: 1 but Yeshua went to the Mount of Olives. At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them.3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Yeshua bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Yeshua straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
Can you imagine this scene? I would have loved to be there in person to witness it. There are so many take aways from this story, but I want to focus on one point. It says, “but Yeshua bent down to write on the ground”. He did this twice! Then the text says: “when they heard it”. How do you hear writing on the ground in the dirt? You can’t! That’s because I believe he was writing in stone. This is the Temple Mount and there is stone there not dirt. This would have been the true miracle, just like the 10 Commandments were written by the Finger of God in stone. WOW! No one knows what Yeshua was writing but the point is, they heard his writing and when they did, they began to leave!
What can we learn from this today? We must take these lessons to heart and learn what God has ordained for each of us. We must try to avoid mistakes when the Finger of God is telling us something important. What do we do when we see the writing on the wall? Do we listen, pray and do what God is saying to do?
Romans 15:4 says: “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.”
I believe another lesson we can learn which is very powerful for us today is not to defame God, mock God or disregard his words because this behavior has serious consequences.
Don’t ignore the signs of the times. The Babylonians were convinced
they were safe when the Medes and Persians were encamped outside the city walls. That’s just plain foolish. Yeshua said in Luke 21:34-36 Take heed to yourselves, lest that Day of His return come on you unexpectedly (just like it did for the Babylonian people). For it will come as a snare for those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch, therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.
There have been several times in my own life where I saw the writing on the wall. I praise God that in those times, I listened and took the appropriate action. God loves us and will lead us if we are willing to listen. Let’s not let pride or stubbornness get in the way!
We must continue to pray, read the Bible, listen to the Lord and be ready for action, if He tells us to act. We must be alert. I pray this teaching ministered to you today!
Father, I thank you for the Finger of God, I thank you that you do speak to us and that we listen with our spirit, not our flesh. Thank you that when you give us signs, we are ready to act or stay still depending on what you tell us to do. Thank you that we are aware of the times we live in, and we are prepared at all times. Amen.
Blessings in Yeshua!
Please take a look at our other blogs on the website. We pray they minister to you wherever you are. We are coming up on the Fall Feasts of the Lord. take a look at some of the past Blog Teachings which explain what the Feasts of the Lord are and how relevant they are today.
Scripture is quoted from the Tree of Life version.