Now it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, that Moses spoke to the children of Israel according to all that the Lord had given him as commandments to them. (Deuteronomy 1:3)
Building on the issue we discussed in the previous devotion — the idea that Israel would need to adapt to hearing God’s Word through someone other than Moses — let us speak to another aspect of this. Specifically, let us speak to the idea that most people need, and certainly would prefer, a more tangible experience when hearing from God. By that I mean, it is easy to know it is God speaking when there is thunder, lightning and a thick dark cloud hovering over the mountain. It isn’t as easy to distinguish His voice from others when so many voices are speaking at once.
Then there is the fact that Israel, in spite of having such an experience, rebelled any way. If they were quick to sin when God was providing miracles daily, even as He led them by fire and a cloud, what would they do when there were no constant reminders of His Presence? The answer to that became evident over time and especially when the “prophet like Moses” appeared among them speaking the same things Moses had addressed in his final days. Rather than hearing the words He spoke, they asked Him to give them a sign, to which He responded, “A wicked and adulterous generation seeks for a sign.”
It is our inclination to want something we can see, touch, feel, measure and fit into our logic box before we are inclined to believe it — and by that I mean, adjust our lives accordingly. This is essentially what happened with the Golden Calf; it is what eventually happened in the land when Israel turned to other gods. Unfortunately to this day, we still tend to require something more tangible rather than hearing the Word and internalizing it. So here is how we will conclude today’s thoughts: “Without faith, it is impossible to please God,” and true “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”
Blessings and Shalom,