Hearing the voice of God
12 Dec 2012
What could the life of Abraham, his struggles and his trials, have in common with the concerns we face in our world today? If we look carefully at God’s work in Abraham’s life and family perhaps we will find some interesting and even parallel events to those in our lives today.
But before we examine similarities we should take note of a few less than subtle differences. For example, four legs were the preferred mode of transportation both for people and goods in Abraham’s day. As to housing, while some of us may enjoy spending a day or two in a tent, the chances are thin we will enjoy a tent as our primarily permanent inn.
Yes, the living conditions of Abraham and Sarah were quite different from ours as they lived and waited for the son that God had promised, a son promised to a couple who were preposterously past their childbearing years. But at last, in the year that Abraham turned one hundred, the promised son was born, born to his wife Sarah, herself being ninety. No doubt this covenanted miracle child brought much joy and jubilation to the tent of Abraham and Sarah.
But there are to be more miracles in the life of this special child. Perhaps twenty or so years later, Isaac has now become a strong and obedient young man, greatly favored by the parents who waited so long for his birth. It was at this time that these unheard of words came from God to His servant Abraham: “[God] said, Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah; and offer him there as a burnt offering upon one of the mountains of which I will tell you.”
Our familiarity with this story and the end thereof, makes it difficult for us to fully grasp the impact of these words. Today we desire to consider yet another subtle and stealthy certainty lurking just below the surface in this story. Can you recall cautiously considering if a communication you have clearly perceived was from your Savior or Satan or yourself?
If we were to search the scriptures for words that seem the least like God, perhaps these might take first prize. Yet the amazing thing we observe in the life and heart of Abraham isno evidence of his questioning the Source. In fact, when scripture is taken in its entirety, we see that Abraham knew this was accurately the oracle of his God! This brings us to a perfectly plausible perspective; Abraham had such a relationship with God that he knew unmistakably the voice of God. He apparently gave zero consideration to the message content in his evaluation regarding the Source. Abraham’s intimacy with God provided all the evidence required; he did not need to determine if this was God based on the instruction contained in these spoken words.
10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand and took hold of the knife to slay his son.
11 But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, Abraham, Abraham! He answered, Here I am.
12 And He said, Do not lay your hand on the lad or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear and revere God, since you have not held back from Me or begrudged giving Me your son, your only son.
13 Then Abraham looked up and glanced around, and behold, behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up for a burnt offering and an ascending sacrifice instead of his son!
We should note that Abraham not only knew that these words were from his God but he also accurately and quickly obeyed God’s directives regardless of the implications.
In verse 12 we see God’s evaluation of Abraham ……. “ now I know that you fear and revere God …”
The Hebrew word translated fear and revere strongly implies obedience. To know God’s voice with intense intimacy, coupled with fearing and revering Him regularly translates into obedience resulting in blessing.
15 The Angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time
16 And said, I have sworn by Myself, says the Lord, that since you have done this and have not withheld [from Me] or begrudged [giving Me] your son, your only son,
17 In blessing I will bless you and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants like the stars of the heavens and like the sand on the seashore. And your Seed (Heir) will possess the gate of His enemies,
18 And in your Seed [Christ] shall all the nations of the earth be blessed and [by Him] bless themselves, because you have heard and obeyed My voice.
Look carefully at what God says concerning the blessings He promised to Abraham [and to us]. God’s blessings inevitably result from hearing and obeying of the voice of God. General Scriptural knowledge coupled with human logic is not the same as hearing God’s voice. We must spend adequate time in communication with God such that when He speaks we recognize without doubt His voice. We must learn to recognize His voice by familiarity not exclusively by its content. The primary tools God uses to reveal Himself are His Son, His Spirit, His word, and His servants.
We also may discover, after much searching, there is not an open drive up window for obtaining intimacy with God. Our relationship with God must be built with the mortar made from time spent mixed with truth believed. The primary purpose of the revelation of God is to develop relationships, God with His children, intimate relationships that are eternal.
James 2:23 (AMP)
23 And [so] the Scripture was fulfilled that says, Abraham believed in (adhered to, trusted in, and relied on) God, and this was accounted to him as righteousness (as conformity to God’s will in thought and deed), and he was called God’s friend.
Are You Living Where God Answers Prayer?
Are you dwelling today in the secret place, Where God can hear your prayer?
Can you come unto Him in confidence, And know that He’ll meet you there?
Are you living where God answers prayer? Are you dwelling in Him today?
That you may claim in Jesus’ name, An answer when you pray.
Are you sure there is nothing to hinder, Your blessed communion there?
When you kneel at the throne, Your request to make known,
Are you living where God answers prayer?
Do you walk in the light He has given you, Committing your way to Him?
Do you ask Him to search your heart and life? And cast out every sin?
Or if any have ought against you, Go seek His forgiveness then.
- Mrs. H. S. Lehman
Note: All scripture not otherwise noted is from Genesis Chapter 22 (Amp Bible)