This morning as I find myself in chapter four of Deuteronomy I am finding myself feeling blessed once again. Isn't God's Word just filled with wonder and amazement? In this chapter Moses is speaking to the Israelites about obedience to God. He begins with, "Now, O Israel, listen." (verse 1) These words were important then and are important for us today.
Max Lucado says it like this: "It's not that we don't have ears, it's that we don't uses them." Moses wanted the people to hear what God was saying. He was God's messenger to a people that He loved. He didn't want them to forget all that He had done for them.
"Now, O, Israel, listen to the statutes and the judgments which I teach you to observe, that you may live, and go in and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers is giving you. You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor shall you take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the lord your God which I command you." Deuteronomy 4:1-2
"Therefore be careful to observe them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statues, and say, 'Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people." Deuteronomy 4:6
"And the Lord spoke to you out of the midst of the fire. You heard the sound of the words, but saw no form; you only heard a voice. So He declared to you His covenant which He commanded you to perform, the Ten Commandments; and He wrote them on two tablets of stone. And the Lord commanded me at that time to teach you statues and judgments that you might observe them in the land which you cross over to possess." Deuteronomy 4:12-14
"Did any people ever hear the voice of god speaking out of the midst of the fire, as you have heard, and live?" Deuteronomy 4:33
I can have such a hard time with patience. I pray and I want to hear from God right now. I love reading the Word of God, but there are times when I pray that I just want my answer and I want my answer to be the one I want. I don't want to mess with reading the Word and waiting upon Him. Do you struggle in that area too? If we are honest I think we all do.
I can pray for clarity, but again, I don't want to wait. I mean the circumstance is happening now. Don't I need an answer now, right? Nope. God has perfect timing. There are times I act too quickly and if I had only waited, I would have witnessed God to work things out according to His plan.
The Israelites had such a hard time hearing. We too have a difficult time hearing. At least I do. I struggle with questioning if it was God I heard or if Satan is using His tactics once again to distract me. I am finding that when I question myself I am growing in the Lord. I am learning to wait upon Him. The more I wait the more I understand that it is the Lord speaking to me. It's good to measure everything against the Word of God. He gives us the tools we need for gaining wisdom and understanding. We have something the Israelites didn't have. We have the entire Word of God with us! We know what happens. We see God's victories.
"Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors." Proverbs 8:33
"To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers." John 10:3-5
Just as sheep know their shepherds voice, we too come to know the voice of our Shepherd. The more time we spend with Him the more we know His voice and understand His Word. I find that sometimes He whispers to me and others I hear Him shouting in protection. As we hear God and heed His voice He will bless us as we hear and obey.
"So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God." Romans 10:17
"But He said, "More than that, blessed are those who hear the Word of God and keep it!"" Luke 11:28
It seems the Israelites wanted more than a voice. They wanted a form. They wanted something in front of them that they could say, "Yes, this is God!" That is why they crafted the golden calf. They needed an image to worship. We cannot limit God to a form or image. God is omnipresent: All powerful. He is omniscience: All knowing. He is Omnipresence: Present everywhere simultaneously. We have a mighty God who was God before the earth was formed. To want to make Him an image is limiting all that He is.
God speaks to us through His Word. If we are willing, we can hear Him. If we are still, He will show us. We can clearly see God in All His creation. May we learn from those who were before us. Might we open our ears to all God has for us to hear and obey His Word today.
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, rebuke, exhort, with all long-suffering and teaching." 2 Timothy 3:16
"For God may speak in one way, or in another, yet man does not perceive it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls upon men, while slumbering on their beds, then He opens the ears of men, and seals their instruction." Job 33:14-16
We can hear the buzz of a bee, the leaves of a tree in gentle motion as the winds blow, and a hummingbird in motion. I love listening to the turtle doves song in the morning and evening. My grandson was outdoors with me and we heard the turtle dove. He turns to me and says, "Nana, ya hear that?" I smile and tell him, "Shh, let's be quiet and we will hear it again." Sure enough we did. My granddaughter loves to say, "Did ja hear that, Nanny?" If we stop long enough we can hear the echo of God's love all around us.
When we lay down to rest we need to spend time conversing with God. Doing the dishes, mowing the lawn, and driving to work. He gives us opportunities to hear from Him. We just have to tune our ears in to His station.