Must I Listen?
“And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.” Exodus 20:19
We do not consciously disobey God, we simply do not heed Him. God has given us His commands; there they are, but we do not pay any attention to them, not because of willful disobedience but because we do not love and respect Him. “If ye love Me, ye will keep My commandments.” When once we realize that we have been “disrespecting” God all the time, we are covered with shame and humiliation because we have not heeded Him.
“Speak thou with us . . . but let not God speak with us.” We show how little we love God by preferring to listen to His servants only. We like to listen to personal testimonies, but we do not desire that God Himself should speak to us. Why are we so terrified lest God should speak to us? Because we know that if God does speak, either the thing must be done or we must tell God we will not obey Him. If it is only the servant’s voice we hear, we feel it is not imperative, we can say, “Well , that is simply your own idea, though I don’t deny it is probably God’s truth.”
Am I putting God in the humiliating position of having treated me as a child of His whilst all the time I have been ignoring Him? When I do hear Him, the humiliation I have put on Him comes back on me – “Lord, why was I so dull and so obstinate?” This is always the result when once we do hear God. The real delight of hearing Him is tempered with shame in having been so long in hearing Him.
Culled from my utmost for His Highest.
1 Master, speak! thy servant heareth,
waiting for thy gracious word,
longing for thy voice that cheereth,
Master, let it now be heard.
I am list’ning, Lord, for thee;
what hast thou to say to me?
2 Speak to me by name, O Master,
let me know it is to me;
speak, that I may follow faster,
with a step more firm and free,
where the Shepherd leads the flock,
in the shadow of the Rock!
3 Master, speak! tho’ least and lowest,
let me not unheard depart;
Master, speak! for oh, thou knowest
all the yearning of my heart,
knowest all its truest need;
speak! and make me blest indeed.
4 Master, speak! and make me ready,
when thy voice is truly heard,
with obedience glad and steady,
still to follow ev’ry word.
I am listening, Lord, for thee:
Master, speak, oh speak to me!