Thursday, January 20, 2011

Discerning- Pt2

After reading and re-reading yesterdays posting I must confess that parts of it must have contributed to the fog bank that keeps people from understanding God's will and desire for them. I will try real hard to keep the writing clear and concise. Also a word of thanks for the comments. Yes, one of the most powerful and wondrous ways in which God speaks is through creation. Bible people call it the, Natural Revelation. Many of us have had experiences in the natural world that take our breath away. I stood on the edge of Victoria Falls and was speechless.

In the Old Testament God spoke in some pretty clear ways. And, because of the clarity of his voice understanding his will was easier. Understanding the will of God,  friend, or family member is based on good communication. If I hear and understand clearly what is being expressed to me I have knowledge of the desire or will of the one communicating.

In Genesis the story of Adam gives a clear example of discerning (understanding) the will of God. Adam was given very clear instruction about his life in the garden. He was free to enjoy all of the blessings that had been provided. He was told in very plain and easy to understand language that there was a temptation he must stay away from. What would appear as a blessing was a curse. There was no misunderstanding in the communication. Adam knew, clear cut, easy to understand.

The communication and ensuing understanding and work of Noah is another very clear example. God communicates with Noah in such clear and powerful words that he carried on his task for more than a century. Another point of consideration must be the society in which he lived. The land was godless and corrupt, except for Noah. He was able to understand and complete the communicated will of God in such a land.

The details around the story of Abram are a little different. God speaks to Abram and tells him to leave his land, family and social structure and walk to a land that has not yet been disclosed. Abram understands the communication and all the implications. He informs his family and those he is responsible for and begins walking. He understood the desire and will of God, the implications of that will, and walked to an unknown land.

The communication between God and Moses is different in some respects. Scripture records what might have been the first, Theophany,  the appearance of the Lord. The bible says, An angel of the Lord appeared to him in a burning bush. The later conversation reveals that it is in fact God speaking to Moses from the bush that was not consumed. This communication is different in the lengthy conversation between God and Moses. The communication from God is simple. He has been watching the suffering of the Jewish people and he intends for Moses to help. Moses continues the communication with excuses. His understanding is clear and he wants a way out. God is filled with compassion towards Moses and continues the communication until Moses not only understands but obeys.

1 comment:

  1. Is this a good place to stop and discuss whether or not God still "speaks" to people today? A woman in our church brings this up on a regular basis. She simply cannot (or will not) comprehend that God spoke audibly to the individuals you listed -- let alone speak audibly to anyone today!!!

    As support she uses the illustration of televangelists who "heard" from God, "God told me to ..." When it turns out to be spurious, she believes that that's proof that God does NOT speak audibly now, if He ever did.