God Speaks

Isaiah 40:3 “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”  It is so interesting to note, just where this voice actually comes from, was it from the Holy Temple {Your Church}, does it come from the High Priest {your Minister}, or from a Tele-Evangelist?  No it really does come from a place of silence and serenity.  Mark 6:31-32 “And he [Jesus] said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.  And they departed into a desert place by ship privately.”  Jesus takes the Disciples off to the far side of the lake, to that dry barren and desert place, away from the distractions of life, there in the peace and stillness of that place, the quietness will wash from them all noisy distractions of life, only then will they really hear clearly the “Voice of God,” which was always there, just the cares of this life had drowned it out so quickly that it became an almost inaudible whisper.

When people dated someone very special, quiet places were regularly sought out, away from the distractions of life, where they can look into each other’s eyes, and to talk, chatter away like two magpies in a tree for hours, oblivious to everything, just focused on each other.  God still wants to chatter to us, but like the disciples, “for there were many coming and going,” for the cares of this life were becoming deafening.  What is grabbing your attention so much that God is an almost inaudible whisper?  There is an interesting facet to our verse, “make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”  This is “Cities of Refuge” language, for Cities of Refuge were the homes of the “Pastors and Ministers.”  This is where the Priests, Levites, Rabbis, Lawyers and all this type of “Religious” people lived.  Quote; “according to the rabbis, in order to aid the fugitive, it was the business of the Sanhedrin to keep the roads leading to the cities of refuge in the best possible repair.  No hills were left, every river was to be bridged, and the road was to be at least, thirty-two cubits broad [about 16 Meters].  At every turn were guideposts, bearing the word “Refuge” and two students of the law were appointed to accompany the fleeing man and to pacify, if possible the avenger, should he overtake the fugitive.” {The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary}

What we have is sort of an “Eight Lane Super Expressway” wide and well signposted and a nice “120KPH+” speed sign, slow sweeping curves, viaducts and bridges so you can hit “Cruise Control” and not to have to ever slacken pace.  But then there is a problem here, “make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”  The first few words are so sad, “Make Straight,” the religious leaders were obviously failing to do their allotted role, to make it so easy for people to “Come to God,” to follow the clear signs that lead to Salvation and Redemption, how is it with us today?  Do we heap up obstructions, hide behind barriers, maintain exclusivity, give misleading directions, or do we totally ignore the “Gospel Commission,” and leave the “Spreading of the Gospel” to some other more prominent people?  This verse should be clearly sounded out, Isaiah 30:21 “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, this [is] the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.”

Is God speaking through “You and Me,” or does he have to by-pass us and do the whole job himself, as we are so often failing to make straight paths, display clear signage, obvious directions, living a “Holy Life” so that everybody can clearly see “Jesus in Us.” For generations, Jewish men always wore their Tallit which is a long sort of shawl/scarf worn over their heads, a “Prayer Shawl,” with long ends over the left and right arms, you lift your arms high, and it sits on top of the shoulders.  Now on the four corners, there are a Tassel [Tzitzits,] which have 10 threads [to remind the wearer of all the commandments in the Torah], so as you move forwards, there are two tassels in front to remind you of “Right Living” in front of you, and there are two behind reminding us to only leave goodness and truth behind, there are two on the right and two on the left.  Now our verse has a fuller meaning, Isaiah 30:21 “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This [is] the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.”  How well does that voice behind us, that still small voice, those Tzitzits, keep our feet in the paths of Righteousness?  God is continuously speaking to us, but do we need to turn off some distracting things, turn our face towards him, give him our full attention, God speaks, so how good is our listening, and then how well do we obey and do, or are our paths in dire need of straightening and given a major overhaul?

As the humorist said, “If you were arrested for being a Christian; Would there be enough evidence to convict you?”  How good are you and I at clearing the path before people, pointing them clearly to “Salvation in Jesus Christ?”  Jesus told a Parable about a farmer that spent so much time wrapped up in himself, that his cropping became so vast that he planned to pull down his small barns and build enormous barns, only to die that very night, and it is implied that most likely he also lost his “Eternal Life.”  When “God Speaks,” how well do we hear?  How quickly do we respond? Matthew 8:19 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.” 

We have our “Marching Orders” or our “Gospel Commission” but do we even apply this to our own Soul first, and then to those that we come in contact with on a daily basis?  Are we making the “Path to Salvation” clear and plain for all to see?  Are we living a life that clearly represents God and the path to eternal life?  God is still speaking, let us be listening, and then speaking God’s Words, living the Holy Life of a Believer.  Quote; “When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in His people, then He will come to claim them as His own.  {COL 69}  Let us finish the work, firstly in ourselves, and then in those close to us, and stop all this sin and death, and go home into “Eternity” with all those we have rescued from Satan’s control.