This New Year’s letter is all about fingers: finger marks, finger prints and finger posts. I am sure that all of you know what finger marks are. Your mother must have told you a dozen times, when’ you were a toddler, not to put your hands against the windows; “You get all finger marks on my clean windows”, she would say. Or, after she had just waxed and polished the living room table top she would warn you kids, “Now be careful and don’t put your hands on the table, or it will be full of finger marks”. Possibly you have seen finger marks on the window of a restaurant if the toddler’s mother allowed her tot to stand on the seat and play patty-cake with the window. They are unsightly smudges and only have to be washed again.
Do you also know what finger posts are? Do you remember when your folks took you to some formal Gardens, and the paths were posted to show you the way? Those posts were shaped like a hand that ended with a forefinger. Those finger posts were guides to the visitors to find their way to the exit without doubling on your tracks.
Fingerprints, now, are the impressions of the inner surface of the last joint of the thumb or finger. Do you know that your own prints are different from each and every person on earth? I often wondered about the prints of identical twins who share the looks so minutely that strangers cannot tell them apart. I used to think that surely their fingerprints must also be identical. Wrong. 1 even called the identification desk of the Police Department, and I was told, “No, they are not alike.” All fingerprints are unlike over the whole world. I find this a great miracle. God gives to each new-born person its own personality, and its own personal fingerprints. A person can sometimes have a personality change, but never undergoes a fingerprint change without destroying them. That fact has been of unmeasurable help to law enforcers. Each criminal is now fingerprinted, and those prints go on file for future identification.
Even mothers can use such information to detect the identity of a child who opens the shiny cookie jar. It’s no use to say you did not take a cookie if your prints are on that shiny surface. You are caught!
All the doers of deed, who leave fingerprints can be recognized by those prints. So, God also left fingerprints on all His Creation. “God left fingerprints?”, you ask. Well, not as we do. Everything about God is different, you know. But the Prophets Nehemiah saw that truth, when he wrote, “Thou, even Thou, art God alone; Thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein. . . .” Of course He left them, and we can see those prints anytime we want to; just look around you. The psalmist wrote Psalm 8 for us to sing, “Consider the heaven; the work of his fingers”. In God’s History Book, in Exodus, we find the history of the Ten Plagues He sent upon Egypt. He used both of His Hands, as it were, all ten fingers to punish the Egyptians. And when His people were fleeing from their foe God left a very plain print on the Red Sea: a large trough right through the sea wherein Israel might travel dry-foot! But get this admission from the wicked magicians when they could not mimic the fourth plague – that one of the turning dust to lice; the magicians told Pharoah, ‘This is the finger of God. ‘ You see, even the wicked recognized God’s fingerprints in those miracles: God was known as a miracle worker.
Later when the people were encamped at the foot of Mount Horeb, God made ten other fingerprints. We know them as The Ten Commandments. In Deut. 9:10 Moses, reciting that desert history, said, “And the Lord delivered unto me two tables of stone written with The Finger of God.” So, as a murderer leaves prints on the murder weapon, revealing himself to be the author of that deed; and as a child leaves prints on the cookie jar, revealing himself to be the author of that deed; so also God leaves proof that His Fingers did the deed. I can recall another fingerprint proof from Holy Writ. When King Balshazzar was feasting in his palace, drinking from the golden cups which he had stolen from the temple in Jerusalem, and using them for the service of his gods, suddenly, a writing appeared on the plaster wall of his dining room. The writing was done as by a man’s hand and finger. The frightened king sent for Daniel to explain that miracle. Daniel said, “That was a part of a hand sent from God.” So, Daniel and the king knew it was the Finger of God writing judgment upon the king and his kingdom. God’s fingerprints revealing himself to be the author of that writing.
And now I am going to take a big leap in time. To the first Christmas day. The night that Jesus was born the angels sang of His glory telling the church that that baby was God in the flesh of our human nature. Later, when Jesus was baptized in the river Jordan by John the Baptist, a voice from heaven said, ”This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” We all know that Jesus was sent to do God’s will, His work, make fingerprints for God. He was the Finger appointed by God. His miracles testified of that. He cast out demons, He healed lepers, He raised the daughter of Jairus from the dead, etc., etc., all fingerprints. Jesus, Himself understood that. When the wicked Pharisees saw Him cast a demon from a man they accused Him of doing so by the power of Satan. He then said to them “If I by the finger of God cast out devils then know ye that the kingdom of God is come unto you.”
So Jesus was, and is God’s greatest Fingerprint. Not the biggest, not like the starry heavens, not like the big earth, not even like that dry path through the Red Sea. No, not the biggest, but the greatest. Jesus showed us that He was the great revelation of all God’s work of salvation. What a print that is! There is no margin of error in the statement. Undoubtedly, unmistakably, God is the sole Author of that work in us; from the beginning (rebirth) to the end (glorification) it is the Father’s work, in and through our Lord Jesus Christ, right? And, children, if you have noticed any of my fingerprints on this letter you may be sure, that is a proof that I wrote it.