Lord, help me to listen to you today, and to act on what you say.
Thinking about Moses in yesterday’s reading leads the writer to consider the difficult people he led through the wilderness, and who never entered the Promised Land. The argument follows the Jewish procedure of ‘midrash’, elaborating on key words of the text.
First, ‘today’, when my cousin was small she announced that she wanted to be a saint. An issue then arose over who got the last piece of cake, Seizing the opportunity for teaching my aunt reminded her of what she said, to which she cheerfully replied, ‘Oh, I’ll start tomorrow.’ Haven’t we all done that? The author speaks of hardness of heart. How often do we choose not to hear when hearing would require some change in our behavior? It is so easy when we have experienced God’s grace, to presume upon his kindness. To guard against this we need encouragement, with boldness, or honest conversation. How much encouragement do we receive or give? Is someone praying for you regularly? Or phoning you, or encouraging you in some other way? Is there someone who will keep you accountable? Or have you capitulated to the privacy and independence of our culture? How much do you hear God’s Voice? He speaks to us through other people( Christians and others), through his creation, through books, through circumstances. Supremely, he speaks through Scripture. He speaks to us individually, in full knowledge of what medium were are likely to listen to.
Many years ago, I was in the mountains when suddenly the words of Philippians 1:9 came to me: ‘And this is my prayer: that your love may aboud more and more’ It was as though I had heard a living voice , and I realised that there was someone whom I was refusing to love. I was compelled to act on this without hesitation.
‘Today:’ Not what did your pastor preach about this? or ‘What did you think in the past?’ but ‘ what is this passage saying to you today?’