Sometimes I wish God would speak. I mean out loud. To me, in such a way I could not doubt who’s talking. And to whom He’s speaking.
Have you ever felt that way? What if He did speak? What if He already has?
Coincidentally, the Bible has something to say on that subject. “God, who at different times, and in different ways, spoke to us by the prophets, has in these days spoken to us by His Son.” (Hebrews 1:1)
It is quite an audacious claim, especially if it were not true. We’re led to believe that, if you want to know what God has to say on a subject, read the Scripture. Listen to Jesus. That’s about as clear and specific as any conversation you’ll ever have.
On another level, I’ve been asking: What would God say that He hasn’t already said very clearly? What more could He say that He hasn’t already said? Loudly. Clearly, and consistently.
I’ve noticed that in conversations with others as reported in the past, God issues orders or commands, but seldom has simply “sat down for a chat” with anyone. At least not that I know about. (Moses and Enoch may be exceptions and perhaps Adam and Eve before they “messed up.”). I also noticed that He often asks questions. They are not what I’d call “boilerplate,” because they can become very personal. In conducting interviews, a prospective employer would want essentially the same information from all applicants for the position he’s trying to fill. In fact, you probably will have to fill out a questionnaire, or an application. And you will need to answer accurately and honestly.
We may be expecting a bit much to expect God to “speak to us,” if we’ve ignored His earlier questions or orders. If we’re asking and expecting Him to use us, or “bless us,” wouldn’t it make sense that we at least answer some basic questions He asks?
So, with my mind working the way it does, I began to wonder if that might be His way of beginning or continuing a conversation. What if the questions He asked others in different places in time were the same questions He’d like for us to answer. That is, of course, if we are serious about a dialogue with Deity! Could that be the “sign” you may be seeking?
Doesn’t that make sense?
The information He requested from others may be precisely the kind of information He’d like from me.
And, of course, in a conversation common courtesy requires an answer. Preferably a serious, thoughtful, honest answer. As I pondered that thought for my self, it occurred to me there were several questions He asked of different people throughout Scripture. Before they were able to make spiritual progress, the questions begged an answer. Am I far off base if I assume the basis for a meaningful “conversation” between God and myself would have something to do with the same kinds of questions?
Here are a few questions which God asks, and I’ve located them in Scripture and identified the person whom God was addressing at the time. I’ve thought about the implications of the question. Then I tried to put myself in a position where I figured if God wanted to say something to me, this might be how the conversation would begin.
Will you join me for a time, assuming the same question is what God would ask you? Here are the first few I found:
1. Where are you?
This is what God asked Adam, at a very awkward moment early in human history. What do you make of that? Is the question asked for God’s benefit, or Adam’s? Think about it a bit. What do you think? If He asked you now: “Where are you?” how would you answer?
“And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?” Genesis 4:8~9
2. What is your name?
This is the information God wanted from Jacob (Keep an eye on him. He’s under my scrutiny as one of God’s Comeback Kids.). Do you think God didn’t already know? Why ask such a question? What’s in a name?
“And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he (The Angel of he Lord) touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.” ~ Genesis 3:24-28
3.What is that in your hand?
God asked Moses this question when they first talked on the “backside of the desert” about Moses going to work for Yahweh.
“And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The LORD hath not appeared unto thee. And the LORD said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod. And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it. And the LORD said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand:” Exodus 4:1~4
There are more questions. More “cues” for conversation, if you’re serious. Let’s just drop anchor for a while and think about these. And don’t forget to include ourselves in the conversation.
Incidentally, I’m glad to be back! I’ve missed you folks.
God’s child and servant, your friend, brother and fellow student