A couple of young brothers and I were listening to some ministry in which the speaker quoted Psalm 33:6 “By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, And all the host of them by the breath of His mouth”.
I had been reading that morning in Exodus 31:18 “And when He had made an end of speaking with him on Mount Sinai, He gave Moses two tablets of the Testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God”. We stopped the recording to talk about what the breath of God has done and what the finger of God has done.
The Breath of God
The breath of God was inserted into the dust of the ground. Job acknowledged the breath of the Almighty gave him life and understanding. The breath of God forms stars, “His breath kindles coals,” and “by the breath of God ice is given”. With a blast of His nostrils He parted the Red Sea. “The grass withers, the flower fades, because the breath of the LORD blows upon it”.
His breath enters dry bones and brings them to life, and the lawless will be consumed by the same breath. The breath of God is either life giving or life taking. If you take breath in Psalm 33 to mean His spoken word, it is no different when the Lord Jesus with His breath spoke life giving words to Jarius’ daughter and the deceased in the town of Nain, and Lazarus.
The Finger of God
As a contrast, the finger of God is somewhat different. The first use of the expression is the Pharaoh’s magicians declaring the plague to be “the finger of God”. Then there are two references in Exodus and Deuteronomy to the finger of God writing the Ten Commandments. In the New Testament the Lord Jesus Himself says, “But if I cast out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” (Luke 11:20).
If we expand the search to just the word finger we see several other instances but not specifically the finger of God. There is the finger of Moses, or Aaron or the subsequent high priest sprinkling blood with his finger. Even Rehoboam’s boasting in Kings, and Isaiah’s prophecy in chapter 3 as well as the finger writing on the wall in Daniel 5 – all these have to do with judgment.
It’s no different in the New Testament. In Matthew 23 the Lord Jesus rebukes the Pharisees for being unwilling to move a burden from men’s shoulders. In the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, the condemned rich man begs for the whetted finger of Lazarus to touch his tongue.
John records the woman caught in the very act of adultery and the Lord Jesus writing on the ground with His finger. Finally, the doubts of Thomas desiring to put his finger in the wounds of the Savior; again all in some form or fashion have to do with judgment.
In these two aspects of God we have His perfect sovereignty and perfect judgment. Let us not forget that awful day when the Lord Jesus cried out with a loud voice commending His Spirit into the hands of the Father for judgment and breathed His last, laying down His life for the judgment of sin.