A Little Voice
On my drive to work lately I have been listening to a dramatic version of the Book of Exodus. As the Scripture comes alive I am amazed at how again and again the Israelites had their issues and doubts concerning God. They saw Him part the Red Sea and yet days later are upset wondering how they will be fed. They saw the Egyptians experience all the plagues sent by God, yet they build a golden calf to worship. Why was it so hard to trust God to provide what they needed? Things are no better in the time of Isaiah. Many had left God’s path and were looking for solutions to their problems in places that God’s people shouldn’t have. Isaiah’s message is one first of condemnation and judgment, but it turns to a message of comfort and hope as we are told of the coming Messiah. Those ancient words still bring hope to us today – the promise of a Redeemer who will save the world. In amidst this account of God’s people’s lack of direction comes this verse in Isaiah 30:21: “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.'” (NIV) My first thought as I read this passage is that it is very challenging to hear someone talking if you are speaking loudly yourself or are distracted with other things. It’s also difficult to listen to direction if we are determined to go our own way and, in our stubbornness, refuse to listen. I admit to being very determined at times. I want to figure things out for myself. I want to be independent and not have to rely on others. How many hours have I wasted trying to solve things myself that I could simply have left in God’s almighty hands? What Isaiah is saying is that it doesn’t matter which direction you take in life – God is going to be there. No matter what good or not so good choices we make, our Heavenly Father is there to love us through whatever happens in life. He is the same God who spoke to Elijah in a still, small voice and has been speaking throughout history. But are we willing to listen? Do we stubbornly follow our own paths or look to others for help instead of listening to what God has to say to us? As I look back, I know God’s voice has been behind me, directing me. He has and does show me the way to go in my life – if I am willing to listen. There have been many times in my life when I know for certain it has been God’s voice leading me in one direction or another. It has been easier to determine what God is trying to say to me when I have a closer walk with Him. I certainly don’t have that perfected, but the more time I spend studying God’s Word and being in worship, the more I have a clearer picture of what God wants for me. In this Christmas season it is easy to get distracted by all details. It is my prayer for you that you will take the time to listen to the still, small voice of the Lord, our Redeemer, and to follow His direction. He will never lead you wrong.