Saturday, June 25, 2016

When God Speaks, Who's Listening?

June 25, 2016

"When I called, no one answered" (Isaiah 66:4). How often have I heard people (including myself) wonder why God doesn't seem to be listening to their prayers. This text could be their complaint, except for one thing: this is God speaking, calling out to deaf ears. Perhaps the problem isn't so much that God isn't listening to us as that we aren't listening to God. Centuries ago, Job questioned God about the calamities that had befallen him. Repeatedly he states his case, pleading his innocence apparently without any divine response. When God finally speaks, it is to chastise Job (38:3). Essentially, he told Job to shut up and listen for a change. That God doesn't seem to answer us is not the issue. That we are not prepared to answer him is.

What would we hear if instead of constantly barraging God with our demands we simply came into his presence with praise...and listened? Would I hear him reminding me to forgive someone? Would he ask what I've done with the salvation he so freely gave me? Would he inquire about how I've cared for the poor? Maybe he would question how I've treated my wife. Would he ask why it has been so long since I've simply spent time with him? The day will come when we stand before God who will question us, requiring the answer we so often fail to give. This morning I read the text from Isaiah, and have been challenged to listen to God's call.He rarely shouts, and sadly, my hearing aids don't help when it comes to listening to his whisper.It's not my ears that are deaf; it's my heart. The Word did its work, and I'm listening, grateful that God didn't stop calling yesterday.

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