“Then they said to Moses, “You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die.” (Exodus 20:19)
As I shared yesterday, it is very typical for people to say whatever they need to say in order to get themselves out of an uncomfortable situation. In this case, the people of Israel were so afraid of dying that they asked Moses to go to God and speak on their behalf rather than having to hear from God for themselves. They feared that if God continued to speak directly to them, they would perish. Interestingly enough, God agreed with them.
“Then the LORD heard the voice of your words when you spoke to me, and the LORD said to me: ‘I have heard the voice of the words of this people which they have spoken to you. They are right in all that they have spoken. Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever! (Deuteronomy 5:28-29)
There you have it; God admitted to Moses that they would have died if He had continued speaking because He told Moses, “They are right in all that they have spoken.” However, He also knew what was truly in their heart; their words were not spoken out of fear of God as much as a fear of dying. Had they truly feared God in the way that we all should, they would have determined to keep His commandments “that it might be well for them and with their children.” In other words, they didn’t want to die to themselves and that is why they wanted God to cease from speaking.
When God speaks, the intention is for His Word to penetrate our heart and affect a change in our life. Put another way, when God speaks to us, it is a call to die to our flesh. When you consider that flesh and blood doesn’t inherit the kingdom of heaven, it doesn’t make sense that God would speak to us in a way that accommodates our flesh. Frankly, God’s Word is not intended nor designed to appeal to our flesh; instead His Word challenges our flesh — our will and our desires — to die.
Rather than being those who say, “God, please stop speaking to me,” we need to be those who pray, “Please, God; never stop speaking to me.” True, His Word will provoke us to die to self but, then again, if He doesn’t speak to us — if we can’t hear His Word — how are we to live? Peter told Jesus, “Where can we go? You are the One who has the words of life.” And so it is that we must have Him speak to us that we may truly live the life He always intended for us — an abundant life.
Blessings and Shalom,