I am frequently misunderstood by my I-phone. I have tried in vain to use the talk-to-text feature. I have spoken slowly and precisely, annunciating every word, but after the phone has processed my message, it looks like a monkey had keyed it in. I have offended many by sending before proofing.
It must have something to do with the pitch of my voice. I have learned that if I dictate my message in a – high-pitched Mickey Mouse kind of voice – it captures my speech perfectly.
But those who might be with me, and hear me do this, well they laugh and think I’m goofy – and not the Mickey Mouse variety.
According to Scripture we human beings are just as handicapped as my phone. God has spoken to us in the past, but we haven’t always understood Him correctly.
There is an episode from the life of Israel that helps us to understand why. They had just left Egypt and were camped at the base of Mount Sinai. Exodus 20:18 says this…
“All the people were seeing the thundering and the lightning, and heard the sound of the horn, and saw the mountain smoking—and when the people saw it, they trembled with fear and kept their distance.” The people were gathered there to meet with and hear from God, but there was a problem according to verse 19.
“They said to Moses, “You speak to us and we will listen, but do not let God speak with us, lest we die.” They didn’t want to hear God’s voice. No wonder! God was surrounded by a pyrotechnic display of thunder, lightning, and a smoking mountain. They were terrified. Think of the quartet from the Wizard of Oz standing before the huge intimidating image of the wizard.
Their shaking legs deafened their ears. So, they asked Moses to be a go-between – to hear God and then interpret His words for them. Moses was an approachable human being whereas God was not.
So, Moses received the Law from God and then faithfully passed it on. Here is an irony. It was called the “Law of God” only 9 times in the Bible but the “Law of Moses 22 times.” The Law became more associated with the publisher than the author.
Nevertheless, God left His people a clear message. Yet, through the ages it was misconstrued and misunderstood. Jesus challenged the Jewish leadership saying, “Aren’t you deceived for this reason because you don’t know the scriptures or the power of God?” – Mark 12:24 The scholars failed to understand God’s words.
This was a problem. It required more than a Mickey Mouse solution. So, according to Hebrews 1:1-3, He sent Jesus!
“After God spoke long ago in various portions and in various ways to our ancestors through the prophets, in these last days he has spoken to us in a son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he created the world. The Son is the radiance of his glory and the representation of his essence, and he sustains all things by his powerful word…”
God said to Himself, “If I really want to get through to my people, I will need to look like them, and speak like them and experience life as they do.” They need to mingle with God in the flesh.”
To interact with Jesus was to have known and seen God (John 14:7) and to have heard the words of Jesus was to have heard God speak. (John 12:50)
The people cowered in fear before the God of the OT, but when Jesus was near, even the children cuddled up to Him. He clarified theological mysteries by His warm presence and His simple to understand words.
I do love the Old Testament, but I get the fullest and sweetest understanding of God when I follow Jesus through the Gospels. I am currently reading through Matthew, and it’s astounding how fresh it is – once again.
If God is sounding to you like a garbled text, join me as I read through Matthew.
A PRAYER: Lord in the words of the hymn writer teach me “More, More about Jesus.”
This has been Jim Johnson and pickleheavenpress.com. May the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.
Scripture references from the NET Bible ®