Sunday, August 6, 2017

To Be a Scribe for the Lord

by Danetta Kellar @DanettaKellar

Jonathan, David’s uncle, was a counselor, a man of insight and a scribe. 1 Chronicles 27:32

Since I was a little girl I have dreamed of being a scribe. While most girls my age were playing Barbies and hair salon, I was making a tent with my bedcovers and hiding out with the illustrated Bible my great-grandmother gave me for Christmas.

In my secret place I would read about the scribes of the Old Testament and imagine there was no more noble task than to record and preserve the words of kings. To be allowed so close to the king, to stand in his presence and listen for his every word, decrees which would change the course of nations, bring hope to the oppressed, unleash power over enemies! I was enthralled.

I had no doubt in those hard days of my childhood that the Bible contained the very words of the King of kings. Someone had written them down, and now they were giving me hope.

One day, I came across this one little verse that differed from others I had read about Biblical scribes. This man, Jonathan, was the great King David’s uncle. And he was no mere scribe. He was also a counselor and a man of insight. Why was this included in his description? What was the relationship between being a scribe, a counselor, and a man of insight?

Those questions have inspired me for many years. I am all grown up now, and with much reverence, I listen for the words of the King that I may share them with others.

The days of Biblical scribes have passed, but there yet remains a troupe of faithful crafters who seek to honor God with the words they write. I have become a scribe, of sorts, among them.

But Jonathan has remained in my mind’s eye. There he stands in his ancient robes, looking directly at me with a fiery gaze that invites me to be more than just a writer of words. He beckons me to learn from him today, to muster the courage to look deeper at the purpose of my writing.

I feel the challenge, and like the little girl reading by flashlight under her covers, my heart trills with the possibility of drawing even nearer to the King.

A Scribe is a Listener
Jonathan was a scribe before he was a counselor. He was a professional listener.

Oh how this realization smites my conscience! My natural bent is to counsel before I have listened long. With my fingers poised on the keyboard, I eagerly type away, assuming I know the ending, prematurely offering my incomplete knowledge.

I imagine if the young Jonathan, biased by his own wrong opinions, completed the king’s sentence without listening carefully to its completion.

“I wish to send my leading officers into the village at dawn…” (to set it on fire while everyone is still sleeping!)

When if he had listened, he would have heard the king’s merciful decree, “I wish to send my leading officers into the village at dawn…to bring them clean water and bread to feed their starving children!”

The first step to being a scribe of insight who may counsel others is to be a listener.

A Scribe is a Studier of the Word
Scribes spent long hours studying the law, which in Uncle Jonathan and King David’s time, meant the first five books of the Bible which included the laws and instructions given by the Lord through Moses to the people of Israel. Jonathan was a student of God’s words.

The next step to being a scribe of insight who may counsel others is to be a student of God’s word, the Bible.

A Scribe is Humble 
Because of his dedicated study, a scribe like Jonathan was able to weigh his words through the instructions and principles laid out by God for His people.

Jonathan’s words were not merely his own, but filtered through absolute truth. This had the added benefit of nurturing humility, a reminder that the scribe was only a man, yielded to the sovereignty of the Maker of words Himself.

Closeness to the King of kings, listening carefully to His words, becoming a student of them, reminds us all that we are not the giver of words. We are, rather, recorders and preservers of those amazing, life-giving, transforming gifts from God.

Humility is a secret to becoming a scribe who is also a man or woman of insight and a counselor.

I am taking time out this week to re-examine my childhood dream of being a scribe. I accept Jonathan’s challenge to be more, to see God’s purposes beyond my writing. Would you join me?

Lord, Giver of words, transform this imperfect scribe into a writer of insight and a counselor who handles your words with faithfulness. Amen.


Danetta Kellar is a writer, blogger, and speaker. Her interesting life has taken her around the globe, where she has had the privilege to witness firsthand the transformation of women from all walks of life and culture as they exchange lies for the Truth found in Christ. 

Her writing flows out of this rich experience and her own continual search for treasures in life’s darkness. Connect with Danetta online through her blog, Riches Out of Darkness, and on Facebook, or Twitter. 


  1. What a great view of what being a scribe really means. I will never look at that word the same way again!

    1. Thank you for reading Barbara! Blessings to you today, Danetta

  2. Replies
    1. Craig, I am so glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for commenting.

  3. Wow, how timely. Needed this today. Learning to listen to that gentle whisper is so hard at times. <3

    1. You are not alone, Court Ellyn! So glad you read with me today. Blessings to you! Danetta

  4. Replies
    1. Thank you, Maria, for your encouragement! Happy writing this week.

  5. Sweet words, my friend. Thank you for sharing them with us!
    Blessings and hope,

  6. Can you please give me some suggested readings on studying what it means to be a scribe of the Lord? I know I have that call. I've only heard of Theresa Harvard and have read all her books. I really need to know how to pursue this further and more deeply. Thank you. Janine Y. Ross my email address is