Guest / Limited Access /

"Does writing get easier the more you do it?" someone asked me recently. After three decades of making a living by putting words on paper, I have to answer no. The more I write, the more aware I am of problems—clichés, dull spots, weak images, repetitions. Whenever I attempt some other difficult activity, like climbing a steep and scary mountain, I remind myself, "Yes, but it's easier than writing!"

One day as I was wallowing in a writer's funk, I found myself wondering whether God knew something of the process I was going through. God spoke, of course, but did he write? I searched the Bible for examples.

The Ten Commandments came immediately to mind. Exodus reports that God gave Moses two "tablets of stone inscribed by the finger of God," emphasizing that "the tablets were the work of God; the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets" (Ex. 31:18; 32:16). Scholars note that the tablets established a treaty, or covenant, between God and the Israelites, similar to treaties between other rulers and their subjects that spelled out what each party could rightfully expect. Unlike their neighbors, the Israelites didn't need to fear the arbitrary whims of the gods; their God had signed a straightforward agreement.

By the time Moses descended from Mt. Sinai, however, the Israelites had already broken the first two commandments. Enraged, Moses dashed the tablets to pieces—which led to the first divine re-write.

The next scene of supernatural writing occurred in the nation of Babylon (modern-day Iraq), when King Belshazzar profaned golden goblets from the temple in Jerusalem by serving wine in them to lubricate his great banquet. Suddenly, the fingers of a hand appeared and wrote four words on the plaster ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

From Issue:
September
Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedCan You See Too Much Jesus in the Bible?
Can You See Too Much Jesus in the Bible?
Why one seminary thinks so and is sending an Old Testament scholar into early retirement.
TrendingMark Driscoll Steps Down While Mars Hill Investigates Charges
Mark Driscoll Steps Down While Mars Hill Investigates Charges
(UPDATED) Driscoll offers 8-step solution to followers: 'Current climate is not healthy for me or for this church.'
Editor's PickThe Wrong Kind of Christian
The Wrong Kind of Christian
I thought a winsome faith would win Christians a place at Vanderbilt’s table. I was wrong.
Comments
Christianity Today
God's Writing Life
hide thisSeptember September

In the Magazine

September 2007

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.