After being at the Center for Renewal and the BARN for over 46 years, I felt it time to move my blog from theCenterForRenewal.blogspot.com to our ListeningToGod.org website. WordPress made it simple and easy to move the entire blog here.
So all new posts will be here.
Thanks for following my blog over these years! I hope you continue following us on this blog.
The Old Testament has the following description of Moses in the presence of the Lord:
And when Moses went into the tent of meeting to speak with the Lord, he heard the voice speaking to him from above the mercy seat that was on the ark of the testimony, from between the two cherubim; and it spoke to him.
There are a couple of things that caught my interest in this passage. Notice that Moses did not go to speak to God but to speak with God. So much of the time our prayers and our praise and our worship are uni-directional. We are talking to God. But Moses went to meet with God. He had the expectation that he was going to speak with God. The writer of the book of Hebrews says that
for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
As we draw near to God, we too need to come in faith – faith believing that you are going to meet with someone real and faith that He will reward you in some way as you seek Him.
A Jewish rabbi recently taught me the other thing about this
passage. In Jewish tradition, cherubim are angels with child-like faces. Art has followed that tradition, creating hundreds of sculptures and paintings depicting cherubim as these little angels with the faces of children. Notice that God spoke to Moses above the mercy seat and between the two cherubs. Jewish tradition taught that God spoke to Moses between these two cherubs to teach us that if we want to hear from God, we must become like little children.
|Artist’s depiction of the Big Bang
I love teaching my grandchildren about God and about science. On New Year’s Eve we have a tradition of taking the grandchildren for the evening. This past New Year’s Eve I happened to mention the Big Bang and found that they didn’t know what it was. They thought it was a TV show. Over dinner, this idea that there was a beginning of the universe captured the curiosity of my 12 year old grandson. He peppered me with questions about what we know of the Big Bang. One thing children are is hungry for learning. Are you hungry for getting to know God better? It is out of that child-like hunger and curiosity that God speaks.
I was given a devotional by a woman at the church where I was
doing pulpit supply. It is entitled, Holy Land Moments by a Jewish Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein and a Christian professor Tremper Longman III. In one of the devotions, Rabbi Eckstein describes the Torah scrolls where the Song of Moses [Song of the Sea] is recorded [Exodus 15].
In Torah scrolls, where the Word of God is handwritten in a traditionally prescribed manner, the “Song of the Sea” is recorded in an unusual way. Its phrases are separated by vast empty spaces.
Vast empty spaces? Time to reflect on the magnitude of what God has done? This caused me to think about a scene described by the Apostle John at the end of the Bible where there is silence in heaven for about a half an hour. (Revelation 8:1). Can you imagine being before the throne of God with a vast array of angels and archangels and being quiet for a half hour? What were they thinking about while sitting in silence for that half hour?
I am struck by my own inability to remain silent for long periods of time. Not just not talking, but not writing or not obsessing as my brain chatters away. But I am convinced that this is something we need; something I need. As the great mathematician and follower of Jesus, Blaise Pascal said:
“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”
All of humanity’s problems? I don’t know about that but I certainly know that a lot of my problems stem from my inability to quiet my chattering brain and sit in silence in Jesus’ presence. Perhaps I will do it right now! Why don’t you join me?