The Holy Scripture contains the oracles of God, which are described as “alive and powerful” in Hebrews 4:12 and “God-breathed” in 2 Timothy 3:16. Men penned it; however, God is the author, according to 2 Peter 1:20–21.
These oracles can either be God’s message to us or the men to whom the message is assigned. But what exactly does the Bible say about the oracles of God? Are these oracles entrusted to men? And what are the benefits of understanding the oracles of God?
- 1 What Are The Oracles Of God?
- 2 Where Are The Oracles Of God?
- 3 What Does The Bible Say About The Oracles Of God?
- 4 Are There Pagan Types Of Oracles?
- 5 Are These Oracles Entrusted To Us?
- 6 What Are The Advantages Of The Oracles Of God?
- 6.1 The Word Of God Makes Us Wise (Romans 15:14; 2 Timothy 3:16; Exodus 18:16)
- 6.2 The Word of God Revives Our Souls (Ephesians 5:18–19; Colossians 3:16; Romans 10:17; 1 Peter 2:2; Hebrews 5:12–14; Romans 10:13–17; Luke 17:5; John 15:16)
- 6.3 The Word Of God Gives Us Light (Matthew 4:3–11; Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Corinthians 10:4–5; Psalms 119:9–11; 1 John 2:14; John 8:31–32; Psalms 37:31; Luke 22:31)
- 6.4 The Word Of God Makes Our Hearts Happy (Joshua 1:8; Psalms 1:2–3; James 1:25)
- 7 Conclusion
What Are The Oracles Of God?
The oracles of God refer to His divine words or His revelations to mankind. Additionally, God appoints people to reveal His message who also serve as His living oracles. Jesus Christ is one of these many oracles of God.
There are modern translations of the phrase “the oracles of God,” but its most basic versions appear in the Old and New Testaments in various forms. In the Greek form of the New Testament (Acts 7:38), the oracle of God is translated as “logion Theou,” meaning “the word of the Lord as seen in the Mosaic law, or a divine utterance of God.” While in Hebrew terms (2 Samuel 16:23), dabar means speech, which pertains to God’s spoken word.
Where Are The Oracles Of God?
The oracles of the living God take many forms and appear in various modern translations. In Peter’s time, the Old and New Testaments served as two witnesses, or testimonies.
However, the two testimonies combine to make a single message, as the apostle Paul mentions in his initial epistle to the Christian church: “And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom, declaring to you the testimony of God” (1 Corinthians 2:1).
What Does The Bible Say About The Oracles Of God?
In the Old Testament, the word “oracle” appears just 17 times (KJV). It appears three times throughout the Bible as “the oracles of God.” In the passage, the apostle Paul emphasizes the immense privilege, as well as the great responsibility, that had been bestowed upon the Jews because God had entrusted them with His “oracles.”
Following this, Romans 3:2 in the ESV says, “To begin with, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God.” Here, Paul stresses that the Jews who acquired, transcribed, and maintained the Tanakh are in a favorable position because it meant the gospel would be taught to them first and, afterward, to the Gentiles.
While in the NASB, Hebrews 5:12 also refers to the oracles of God and says: “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food.” This passage preaches to us to not focus on our physical hunger through solid food but instead on what will fill up our souls.
Furthermore, in this verse, God explains one of the goals of His revelation to humanity. It is to offer the fuel, the food, and the nourishment that will lead us to become “a complete man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13). The oracles of the living God, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, are what enable us to “go on to perfection” (Hebrews 6:1).
In the KJV, the oracles of God are also mentioned in the passage: “If any man speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God” (Peter 4:11). In this passage, Peter warns us to use the gifts from God with extreme caution (verse 10). When Peter said that everyone who speaks for the Lord must “speak as it were the (oracles) of God,” he meant that they must faithfully declare what the Bible says.
On the other hand, the Old Testament has another meaning for the word oracle: “the holy place from which the utterance emanates” (1 Kings 6:5). Also, the Logos Himself, Jesus Christ, all the disciples, the prophets, and Moses (Acts 7:38) acted as the living oracles of God.
- Jesus Christ: Hebrews 1:1–2; John 8:26; John 12:49; John 14:10; John 14:24; John 17:8
- Moses: Deuteronomy 4:5; Exodus 19:3
- David: II Samuel 23:2; Acts 1:16
- Ezekiel: Ezekiel 1:3
- Jeremiah: Jeremiah 1:9; Jeremiah 36:2
- Zechariah: II Chronicles 24:20
- Balaam: Numbers 23:5
- The Apostles: Acts 10:39–41; John 17:8; I John 1:1, 3; II Peter 1:16
God was the source of the disciples’ message. God’s words were spoken through the prophets. These are the words of God, and God made sure that His oracles are His words, His revelation to mankind, as stated in Hebrews 1:1: “God, who at various times and in different ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets.”
Are There Pagan Types Of Oracles?
The Bible condemns oracles, mediums, and prophetesses who use demonic power to predict the future or summon the spirits of the dead. In the Old Testament, we witness what transpires when an Israelite king encounters a medium (1 Samuel 28).
There is a known pagan Delphian oracle in Greek, a priestess who spoke prophetic words. Known as the oracle, she lived in Putho, a town in central Greece at the base of Mount Parnassus. The priestess or oracle was referred to as the Pythia, which is Apollo’s utterances.
Moreover, Acts 16:16 mentions a lady who seems to foretell in a manner akin to the Delphic priestesses. She was most likely from Delphi and was associated with the ability to be possessed by demonic spirits to predict the future.
Are These Oracles Entrusted To Us?
These divine “words of God,” or living “oracles of God,” or “utterances of God,” as they are described in the New Testament and other versions, have been entrusted and committed to all of us. People are responsible for God’s oracles. They should be accepted, read, examined, followed, and declared. As the verse Romans 3:2 says, “Great in every respect. First of all, they were entrusted with the oracles of God.”
On the other hand, man is not left to his personal interpretation of how things came to be, how he got to where he is, or how he may get out of the terrible predicament he is in. When the scripture appears to contradict itself, we must always look into the context and true meaning of the scripture, because man is equally responsible for this. God instructed us to refrain from interpreting them according to our own cultural and historical prejudices.
What Are The Advantages Of The Oracles Of God?
The Word Of God Makes Us Wise (Romans 15:14; 2 Timothy 3:16; Exodus 18:16)
There are moments when we all have concerns about relationships, raising children, or just living in general. In an effort to find answers, we can study self-help books, consult our friends, or go to seminars or workshops. But it seems that we turn to the Bible last. As long as they direct us to the Bible, there is nothing wrong with a friend’s advice because the Holy Bible is the key to all of life’s critical questions (2 Peter 1:3).
Moreover, God’s message enlightens both the hearer and the doer. The oracles of God do not use the world’s old speak, ornate rhetoric, or hollow sophistries, which men created under the devil’s influence. God’s oracles, like the cunning leaders who delight in distorting reality for their own ends, are not the New Speak of Foxes; rather, God’s oracles are His revelations to people, the absolute truth.
The Word of God Revives Our Souls (Ephesians 5:18–19; Colossians 3:16; Romans 10:17; 1 Peter 2:2; Hebrews 5:12–14; Romans 10:13–17; Luke 17:5; John 15:16)
If we do not actively pursue God, we will slip away from Him, resulting in a spiritual drought. God may seem distant as we place more emphasis on the material world and less on spiritual matters. It might seem like our prayers are not working. But as we spend more time in God’s Word, our attention will be drawn back to Him, our souls will be fed, and our connection with Him will be refreshed.
The Word Of God Gives Us Light (Matthew 4:3–11; Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Corinthians 10:4–5; Psalms 119:9–11; 1 John 2:14; John 8:31–32; Psalms 37:31; Luke 22:31)
Light comes in handy in the dark. It ensures our safety by allowing us to see everything around us. It’s the Bible’s purpose as we strive to make our way through this dark world. Only in the light of Scripture’s truth can we recognize the wicked world for what it is, and if we follow the Commandments of God, we will remain on the proper track.
The Word Of God Makes Our Hearts Happy (Joshua 1:8; Psalms 1:2–3; James 1:25)
Life’s responsibilities and pressures can often leave us lacking adequate joy. We can be going through a trying or sad time. But we are instructed to rejoice constantly (Philippians 4:4). Regardless of our situation, we must remain joyful. That is impossible to execute when we do not spend enough time in God’s Word because we can find numerous reasons to rejoice as we read His promises in the gospel.
God’s oracles are divine utterances delivered to humanity. If God speaks to us, whether by his word or voice, it contains absolute truth; therefore, we should give great weight to “the oracles of God.” We must pay attention to what He has to say. We must recognize its importance, just as the disciples and prophets did.
Just by reading, examining, and practicing God’s Word, we can be transformed into His image. So, whether you have a deadline approaching or a tight schedule, will you prioritize God’s Word in your day?