Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.
William J. Gaither's song "He Touched Me" is heard in some churches. The lyrics include "He cleansed and made me whole." That is the joy of God's touch. A person is cleansed and made whole after receiving a touch from the hand of God.
One of the most intimate actions a person can receive is a touch. The word "touch" means to bring a bodily part into contact with another person or thing. The Bible records the stories of all four prophets who were touched by God for different reasons. Sometimes God spoke a word and people were changed. Sometimes He purposefully touched them.
God touched all four of the major prophets so they could do effective ministry. His touch was a way to consecrate them for the work He had called them to do. Read through the accounts below to see how and why the prophets were touched by God.
After Isaiah was called to become a prophet, he said:
"Woe is me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips." (Isaiah 6:5)
Then one of the seraphim took a live coal from the altar with tongs and placed it on Isaiah's mouth, and Isaiah was purged of his sin (Isaiah 6:5-7). The purpose of this action was to cleanse Isaiah's mouth and to purify his lips to speak on behalf of God.
Jeremiah was not a man of unclean lips like Isaiah who prophesied a century before him. He was born into a priestly family. When he was called to be a prophet, he gave God two reasons he did not want to accept the assignment. Jeremiah said he didn't know how to prophesy. Besides, he was young (Jeremiah 1:6-9).
God refused to accept Jeremiah’s excuses. He touched Jeremiah’s lips so he would have the words of God to speak. The touching equipped the prophet in three ways, according to Verses 7-9.
- Jeremiah was given divine authority to prophesy. God told him, “You shall go, and you shall say what I tell you" (Jeremiah 1: 7).
- Jeremiah was equipped with divine communication of power.
"The Lord put forth his hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said unto me, 'Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth. See, I have this day set thee over the nations... to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant'" (Jeremiah 1:9-10).
God touched Jeremiah's mouth to empower him. It was God's bestowal of the gift of prophecy and touching the mouth was the point of contact for that gift.
Ezekiel's lips were touched for courage. While in bondage, he prophesied to slaves in Babylon. He served under very hard circumstances. Therefore, he needed courage.
God touched his lips in a different way than He touched Isaiah and Jeremiah's lips. Ezekiel was told to eat and digest a scroll that was handed to him. He ate it and quickly noticed that the scroll tasted as sweet as honey, according to Ezekiel 3:3.
His touch from God was different, but the scroll had to pass through his lips and into his mouth. So, the lips and mouth were involved in the touch.
Daniel's touch from God was not as profound as the other three prophets' touches. Daniel testified:
"Behold, a hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands" (Daniel 10:10).
Daniel said his lips were touched, and when he opened his mouth he began to speak. He received strength from the touch, and he said, “Speak, my lord since you have given me strength."
God's touch gave Daniel an urgency to seek Him. Daniel received God's touch because he was willing to serve God and to do what He commanded him to do.
Reasons God Touched the Major Prophets
God touched the major prophets' lips for different reasons.
- Isaiah had unclean lips. God touched his lips to cleanse and purify them.
- Jeremiah had reluctant lips. He said he was too young. God touched his lips for empowerment.
- Ezekiel's lips were touched for courage. He needed the courage to prophesy to the captives in Babylon.
- God anointed Daniel's lips for strength.
God touched the major prophets in the Old Testament to prepare them for their assignments. Jesus followed in His Father's footsteps and touched people in the New Testament but for different reasons.
When God Touches You
God is still in the touching business for different reasons. The touch of God will change the course of events in our lives. Each touch of God causes our lives to be enriched. Things that are not of God will have no place in our lives. Today, God touches us by His Word, and we should desire that touch. That's why it is so important to read the Bible on a regular basis. God could touch you through a song, sermon, or hearing a scripture. However, the most effective and immediate way is through the word of God. Many times God touches our hearts so we can serve God, according to 1 Samuel 10:26.
God can do several things through His divine touch.
- God can turn people to Him (1 Samuel 10:26 ).
- God can purify people from unclean lips, according to Isaiah 6:7.
- God can impart divine truth through His touch (Jeremiah 1:9; Daniel 10:16 and Daniel 10:18).
Jesus touched people like His Father did.
A man with leprosy in Galilee
Matthew 8:2-3, Mark 1:40-42, Luke 5:12-13
Peter’s mother in law in Capernaum
Matthew 8:14-15, Mark 1:30-31
Many people in a crowd in Capernaum
A 12 year old girl in Capernaum
Matthew 9:25, Mark 5:41-42, Luke 8:54-55
Two blind men in Capernaum
A few people in Nazareth
A man who was deaf
A blind man just outside Bethsaida
A blind man in Jerusalem
John 9:1, 6-7
a woman who could not stand straight in the synagogue
Two blind men near Jericho
Matthew 20:30, 33-34
Tim Truzy from U.S.A. on September 11, 2019:
Thank you, Margaret. Another encouraging article about the power of our God. I read your comments below, and I agree. Your insight on this topic would be great in an article about Jesus Christ. He touched physically, but He reaches spiritually then and now with the gift of the Holy Ghost. Thanks again. Respect and admiration.
Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on September 10, 2019:
OK, Jason. I understand and will make the adjustments. Thanks!
Jason Reid Capp from Myrtle Beach, SC USA on September 09, 2019:
@Margaret. Ooh. That is a tough decision to make. I agree that a "When Jesus Touched" article would be quite interesting, but I also love how Jesus is a focus in this "When God Touches" article too. I think the table is great, and you should definitely keep it, but I think a short text to describe how God touched through Jesus would be appropriate. Nothing grand, just some insight and thoughts about how God touched Jesus and the people around him.
I think you can share that much and bring the article to a close, because at the moment, you end the article with bullet points, a table, and a question. I would just love a Margaret-signoff is all. :)
Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on September 09, 2019:
Thanks, Jason for reading and making the suggestion about giving more information about Jesus touching.
I welcome your suggestion. Here are my thoughts. My main topic is "When GOD Touches." It is true that Jesus was God in the flesh. I wanted to keep the focus on "when God touches" instead of Jesus. I am thinking now to remove the table and write another article "When JESUS Touched" because He did more touching of people in the New Testament than God did in the Old Testament. To include all of Jesus' touching would have made the article too long and taken some of the emphasis away from what I wanted to point out about God touching the major prophets when He called them.
I think deleting the table and putting it in a separate article would be more appropriate. It would give me ample space to address the issues you suggested.
Let me know your thoughts before I delete the table because it was time-consuming to design.
Jason Reid Capp from Myrtle Beach, SC USA on September 09, 2019:
Another great article, Margaret! Thank you. But I would like to suggest one thing. You shared some great thoughts after each point you presented, but for the "Jesus touched people like his Father did" section, you just presented a table of examples and scripture. Honestly, I was looking forward to more insight from you. I think closing the article in your own words about the Jesus section would provide a lot more insight to the subject at hand and allow you to share something personal as well.
Other than that, though, really great! I loved all the examples you pulled out and how you saw God providing different needs for each of the prophets. Wonderful stuff!
Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on September 08, 2019:
Thanks, Annkf, for reading and commenting on my article. I like what you said about your mother singing "He Touched Me." I was wondering if readers would be familiar with the song. You made my day!
Betty A F from Florida on September 08, 2019:
Very nice article Margaret,
Growing up, my mother used to sing that song all the time. She also loved listening to the Gather's. This brought back some great memories. You covered the reasons for each "touch," and this was truly a sharpening kind of lesson.
A real gem.