I really do love this part of the Bible. The Israelites are normal people with messed up lives, and Moses struggles regularly with his leadership role. It’s real life, devoid of the TV sitcom sugar coating!
A few days ago I came to chapter 7 in the book of Numbers. This chapter takes 88 long verses to describe (in great detail) the offerings of dedication each of the 12 tribes of Israel brings to the Lord at the dedication of the Tabernacle.
Each one brings the same thing, over and over, and over again…x 12!! I was getting a little bored, my mind was wandering, and I admit to scanning the text instead of fully reading it.
But then, the very last verse, number 89, caught my attention….
“Whenever Moses went into the Tabernacle to speak with the Lord, he heard the voice speaking to him from between the two cherubim above the Ark’s cover – the place of atonement – that rests on the Ark of the Covenant. The Lord spoke to him from there.” Numbers 7:89 (NLT)
Moses heard the voice of the Lord speaking to him! There are many occasions throughout the Old Testament where God speaks directly to the people…
- Adam and Eve
My imagination was off and running!! What was it like to have God speak directly to you?
It terrified the Israelites when God spoke to them on Mount Sinai! It must have been amazing and terrifying and wonderful and humbling and awe inspiring…I imagine it defied description.
But here’s what’s interesting. Many of the people God spoke to didn’t want to hear what He had to say…
- Eve – bit the apple
- Moses – argued about going to Egypt to bring the Israelites out of slavery
- Jonah – didn’t want to go and preach to the people of Nineveh
- David – after being anointed the king of Israel, goes back to being a shepherd
- Jeremiah – says no way God, I’m way too young to be your prophet
And yet, with the exception of Eve, all these people do eventually follow God’s call and accomplish great things for the Kingdom.
Many times I’ve wished God would speak directly to me, so I’d be clear on what He’s saying. Today we don’t hear God’s voice speaking from the place of atonement, but we do hear His voice through the words in the Bible and through the movement of the Holy Spirit.
God speaks through many people - pastors, church members, friends, family, co-workers, the person next to you on the bus, your spouse…
So it’s not a question about God speaking directly to me. The real question is am I listening and willing to respond?
THINGS TO THINK ABOUTAre you listening to God? Are you willing to respond? What are you arguing with God about?
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