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Let’s look at several verses in that passage. In John 8:4-9 we read, “They say unto Him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest Thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down, and with His finger wrote on the ground, as though He heard them not. So when they continued asking Him, He lifted up Himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again He stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.” We are not told what Jesus wrote on the ground and perhaps it’s best to not venture a guess. Many have attempted to give a definite answer to this, but when Scripture is silent we had best keep silent too.

Having said that, it may be profitable to look at other instances where we see “the finger of God writing.” The most well-known verse is found in Exodus 31:18, “And He gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon the mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.” In this instance the “finger of God” declared His holiness and in the Ten Commandments He set a standard for men to live by, a standard that proved to be too high for sinful men, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” as we read in Romans 3:23.

In Jeremiah 17:13 we have these solemn words, “O Lord, the hope of Israel, all that forsake Thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the Lord, the fountain of living waters.” Here we see a sentence of doom being written in the ground against Israel for forsaking the Lord. They are “written in the earth” because their sin of rebellion deserves “death,” just as Adam was told, after his sin in Genesis 3:19, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return to the ground: for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”

There was also a sentence of doom written by the finger of God to a proud, ungodly Gentile monarch as we see in Daniel 5:5, 25-28, “In the same hour came forth fingers of a man’s hand…and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote…And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL UPHARSIN. This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it. TEKEL; thou are weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.” Here too the “finger of God” spells out man’s judgment because of his sin.

The proud, self-righteous scribes and Pharisees that came to Jesus with the adulterous woman in John 8, seeking to ensnare Him, were well-versed in the Old Testament scriptures. Could it be, as Jesus stooped and wrote with “His finger on the ground,” that one or more of these passages came to mind and served to bring conviction to them for their disobedience to the Ten Commandments and for the judgment they deserved?  We do not know, but we DO KNOW, that as soon as Jesus said “He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone,” their consciences immediately convicted them.  They were all in spiritual darkness and being convicted they departed from the light that was shining on their guilty souls.

The woman stayed in the presence of the Lord Jesus and was blessed, for after calling Him “Lord” she heard those wonderful words of grace and forgiveness in John 8:11, “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” He could forgive her because He was going to the cross to pay for her sins; the very One who wrote the Ten Commandments and who wrote the sentence of death due to our sins, would Himself go down into “the dust of death” as we read in Psalm 22:15. The Lord did this so we could have eternal life.  What love, what grace!  If you have never trusted in the Lord Jesus as your personal savior, won’t you trust Him now, before it’s forever too late?  (126.2)  (DO)