"IS USED TO MEAN”
“.....tablets of stone inscribed by the finger of God”
It was a perfect morning, early and promising with a gentle balmy breeze and the sun shining brightly.
Seated at a spacious outdoor patio at the rear of a restaurant, we were enjoying breakfast while watching
happy beach volleyballers jumping and reaching their way to victory. And occasionally misstepping and
landing on their back ends in the sand. The gentle waves of the crystal blue ocean sparkled as they rolled in
and out again and again. It was as though the finger of God had touched Laguna Beach and designated
that day to bless its partakers.
We were there to meet an old friend for lunch later that day. She and I share the same birthday and when
we have managed to remember, we have wished each other well on that special day for the past fifty years
and counting. At noon we arrived at the designated restaurant, and after a few tries I spotted her headed in
our direction. Jeannie strode up the sidewalk with a wide smile and all the confidence of a woman in control.
She was taller than I remembered and striking in the way both men and women appreciate.
Lunch wasn’t brief. There was much to catch up on and she was not at a loss for words. Her pendant
dangled and intermittently hooked the black dickey beneath her blouse, her laugh was contagious, and her
reddish blonde hair framed a blue eyed contented face. She was enjoying life.
Her skilled finger whipped through the selection of photos on her I-Pad at lightening speed. She had had
practice. It was a most pleasurable lunch experience. The waitress had long given up hopes of turning our
table over to another potential customer and had ceased trying to refill our beverages. She knew we were
in for the long haul. It wasn’t all that long ago, but those were my fatter days.
I don’t look like that anymore. Thankfully.
I marveled at her skillful fingers on that I-Pad. She was good - very good. Did you know that the Bible says
that God wrote the ten commandments on two stone tablets with His own finger? Whoa, does God have
fingers? Of course. One Bible concordance states “The finger of God is used to mean His power, His
working.” In other words it’s advising you to not take Scripture literally, but rather substitute what it tells us
about God’s attributes (in this case, God’s finger) and water it down. This a typical example of why people
don’t get it. They’re told to not take the Bible literally. And usually by pastors or priests. Shame on them.
Here’s my point: the Bible is far more true than people give it credit for. Scripture is very specific about what
God looks like. Is God a Spirit? Yes, but God also takes on form whenever He pleases. That’s why we call
Him God. He can do stuff we can’t. The Bible tells us we have been made in God’s own image. It’s okay to
believe that because it’s true. Jesus said “if you see Me, you have seen my Father.” Take it literally.
You’re supposed to.
Jesus also said that we have eyes but we don’t see, and ears but we don’t hear. That’s because of
statements by theologians in commentaries like “.....is used to mean.” That’s a bad phrase. Deliberately
misleading. Satan loves it, but we shouldn’t. Maybe your fingers aren’t as agile as Jeannie’s,
but that doesn’t mean your brain has to crawl in slow motion.