“God Spake all these Words”

By James H. Brookes

Chapter 10



“After the death of Moses, the servant of the Lord it came to pass, that the Lord spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying Josh. i. 1. “After the death of Joshua it came to pass, that the children of Israel asked the Lord, saying, Who shall go up for us against the Canaanites first, to fight against them? And the Lord said, Judah shall go up,” Jud. i. 1, 2; “The word of the Lord was precious in those days; there was no open vision. . . . And the Lord came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth. And the Lord said to Samuel . . . for the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the Lord,” 1 Sam. iii. 1, 10, 11, 21.

“It came to pass after this, that David inquired of the Lord, saying, Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah? And the Lord said unto him, Go up. And David said, Whither shall I go up? And He said, Unto Hebron,” 2 Sam. ii. 1. No wonder we read, “These be the last words of David,” the poet king and the sweet Psalmist of Israel; “the Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and His word was in my tongue. The God of Israel s aid, the Rock of Israel spake to me,” 2 Sam, xxiii. 2. 3. It is not., that the Spirit of the Lord thought the divine concept was in his mind, but His word was in his tongue.

“The word of the Lord came to Solomon, saying concerning this house which thou art in building if thou wilt walk in my statutes, and execute my judgments, and keep all my commandments to walk in them; then will I perform my word with thee, which I spake unto David thy father,” 1 Kind's vi. 11, 12; “The Lord appeared to Solomon the second time, as He had appeared unto him at Gibeon. And the Lord said unto him, I have heard thy prayer and supplication that thou hast made before me. . . . Then will I establish the throne of thy kingdom forever, as I promised to David thy father, saying, there shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Israel,” 1 Kings ix. 2-5.

‘‘They served idols, whereof the Lord had said unto them, Ye shall not do this thing. Yet the Lord testified against Israel, and against Judah, by the hand of all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants the prophets . . . . They rejected His statutes, and His covenant that He made with their fathers, and His testimonies which He testified against them . . ; until the Lord removed Israel out of His sight, as He had said by all His servants the prophets,” 2 Kings xvii. 12-23. “Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Tell the man that sent you to me, thus saith the Lord,” 2 Kings xxii. 15, 16.

“Thou hast also spoken of thy servant’s house for a great while to come, and hast regarded me as a type of the Man who is on high, O Lord God,” 1 Chron. xvii. 17; “The Lord spake unto Gad, David’s seer, saying, 1 Chron. xxi. 9.

‘‘Micaiah said, As the Lord liveth, even what my. God saith, that will I speak,” 2 Chron. xviii. 13. For weary centuries God bore with the persistent rebellion, unbelief and idolatry of Israel, rising up betimes and sending His entreaties and warnings; “but they mocked the messengers of God, and despised His words, and misused His prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against His people, till there was no remedy,” 2 Chron. xxxvi. 16. “Thou earnest down also upon Mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven,” Neh. ix. 18.

The same phrases, “God said,” “The Lord spake, saying,” “The Word of the Lord” which occur 680 times in the Pentateuch, are found 418 times in the Historical Books; and again is the question asked, what is the man who professes to believe the Bible, going to do with the testimony? If he is prepared to declare that he does not accept the evidence of the witnesses, “God said” or ‘‘spoke,” obviously consistency and common sense would require him to set aside the entire record as incredible. If you cannot believe witnesses in 418 particulars, neither can you receive their testimony in any particular. It is all or none.

It is often suggested by light and thoughtless minds that there was no need of inspiration to record historical events. It is supposed that man’s unaided powers were sufficient to discover and narrate accurately the occurrences that took place in the career of nations, families and individuals. But the suggestion shows a strange forgetfulness of the innate tendency of human nature to lie, or its inability to tell the precise truth, owing to ignorance, prejudice, conflicting testimony, and to misconception and misunderstanding of the facts. Any one familiar with some incident reported in the newspapers, or with trials of cases in courts, will know how difficult it is to arrive at a real knowledge of a plain and simple transaction, even when there was no possible motive to misrepresent.

The famous Historian Von Ranke, having received from credible witnesses, different accounts of a disaster, the fall of a bridge in his own neighborhood, gloomily said, “If it is impossible to learn the truth about an accident which happened in broad daylight only twenty-four hours ago, how can I declare a fact to be certain which is shrouded in the darkness of ten centuries?” Sir Robert Walpole, when asked what he would have read to him replied, “Hot history, for I know that to be false.” Napoleon termed “history a fable”; and Charles Kingsley gave up his chair of Modern History in Oxford, because he considered “history largely a lie.”

But the historical books of the Bible, confirmed as they are in every minute particular by monumental evidence as far as it goes, is proved to be so near the truth, to say the least, that Higher Criticism with its keen desire to find fault with the Bible is constrained to confess that it discovers only the most petty discrepancies in the most unimportant incidents. It will be shown that even these do not exist; for let us not forget the testimony of Archdeacon Farrar, who has developed into a Higher Critic of the lowest school, an irrational rationalist, when he defends the writers of the Bible against the charge of error, saying, “that they did so err, I am not so irreverent as to assert, nor has the widest learning, and acutest ingenuity of skepticism, ever pointed to one complete and demonstrable error of fact or doctrine in the Old or New Testament.” He who is acquainted with other histories turns to the inspired history with a strengthened conviction that “God spake all these words.”