Friday, March 12, 2010

Hearing God’s voice

Good morning. Today’s scripture comes from Numbers 7:89 (New Living Translation): 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.

Wow! Every time Moses went into the Tabernacle, he talked to God and heard his voice. It was clear; it was audible. What kind of conversations do you think the two of them had? Do you suppose God was giving Moses cooking tips on the newest foodie trend, manna?

Maybe, but I’m guessing Moses had the same kind of conversations David had with God. They were honest, and they were real. When Moses was frustrated, he shared his feelings with God. When God was frustrated with the Israelites, he shared his feelings with Moses. In Numbers 11 (21-23) Moses and God have a heart-to-heart talk about God’s command for the Israelites to purify themselves from their sins (and their whining). First, Moses responds: “There are 600,000 foot soldiers here with me, and yet you say, ‘I will give them meat for a whole month! Even if we butchered all our flocks and herds, would that satisfy them? Even if we caught all the fish in the sea, would that be enough?” Note the hyperbole. Then God responds: “Has my arm lost its power? Now you will see whether or not my word comes true!” Was that God being sarcastic?

It sounds like a typical conversation between a teenager and a parent. What passages like this – and the Psalms – show us is that God doesn’t have a problem with us venting – and even being angry with him. Moses had a real relationship with God, one in which two-way conversations occurred. It wasn’t just God giving commandments to be shared with the Israelites. Moses went to the Tabernacle to hang out with God, talking to him like two best buddies.

We can have that same kind of conversations with God. Our Tabernacle is wherever we want to stop and talk to God, one on one. I think everyone has a special place in which our connection with God is at its strongest. For me, it’s always been on walks by myself. I can remember having conversations with God on cold, dark mornings, before my neighbors had even awakened. Sometimes, it’s late at night, when no one else is around. It’s always a quiet, peaceful place. It isn’t an audible voice, and there isn’t a burning bush in front of me, but I hear God’s voice nonetheless. Often, he just reminds me that he loves me and cares for me. That’s what I need to hear most.

How does this apply to my life?

Today’s prayer: Lord, thank you for letting me hear your still, quiet voice. Help me to take the time to find that place in which I hear you best. Amen

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