Heh … What’d You Say?

Grandpa yelled up the stairs to Grandma, “Do you want some breakfast?” She answered, “I’m NOT moving too fast.” He said, “Did you hear me? Do you want breakfast?” She said, “What? I can’t hear you.” He tried again, “DO – YOU – WANT – BREAKFAST?” She said, “YES, I said I’m getting dressed. I’ll be done in a minute.” He said, “Ok, it will be ready in a minute.”

HAHA! This is an actually conversation I witnessed the other day. Made me stop and think how funny communication can be. When it was all said and done, neither of them knew that the other couldn’t hear. It was quite comical from the outside. But I wonder, how many times do we do this to God?

Moses had a little trouble understand what God was saying to him in Exodus 3-4. God said:

8 So I have come down to rescue them … 10 So now, go. I am sending you

And Moses said:

11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”

Yeah, um, God said “I” meaning God, and Moses said “I” meaning Moses. If Moses had heard what God said in the first place, he might have just said, “Okay.” lol

God said … Moses said:

12 And God said, “I will be with you. … 13 Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites

15 God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites: The Lord, the God of your fathers, of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has sent me to you! … 1 Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me

Now Moses is thinking ahead and it switches to Moses said … God said,

10 Moses said to the LORD, “O Lord, I have never been eloquent, … I am slow of speech and tongue.”
11 The LORD said to him, “Who gave man his mouth? … Is it not I, the LORD ? 12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”

Moses finally figures out that God intends to send him anyway, so he points the finger and passes the buck:

13 But Moses said, “O Lord, please send someone else to do it.” … 14 Then the LORD’s anger burned against Moses

Don’t you just want to grab Moses and shake him and tell him to think about who he is talking to? UGH! Or don’t you want to scream at him, “MOSES, YOU ARE NOT LISTENING!”

But really, don’t we have these conversations with God every day? God says … you say:

Go talk to that person … I’m too shy, I don’t know what to say.
Give that person some food … I don’t have any to give.
Support that ministry financially … I can barely support myself.
Love me, love my people … oh, but you don’t know that person very well.

Here’s a question for you, “What was Moses really concerned about? What was he really afraid of?” I think he was afraid of the same things we are afraid of everyday, PEOPLE. What will the people say, how will the people react, what if the people don’t believe me. Yo, WAKE UP! What will GOD say? How will GOD react? Probably the same way he reacted to Moses:

14Then the anger of the Lord blazed against Moses;

You know, we like to believe that Moses didn’t enter the promise land because he got angry and struck a rock. But somehow, I think it all started right here. It started because Moses didn’t hear what God was saying. God went down this road with a number of people in the Bible, and those people who didn’t hear what he was saying, they went down a rocky road themselves. But who needed to change? Did God need to change how he SAID things? Or did the people need to change how they HEARD things.

We all love the verse in the Bible that says to be quick to listen and slow to speak. Just curious, do you know where that verse is? Do you know what it really says? Well, bet your scrambling now. Eh, it’s ok, I didn’t know either, I thought it was a Proverb, did you? Nope, it isn’t. Want a hint? J …. A …. M …. E – yep James, James 1:

19Understand [this], my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear [a ready listener], slow to speak, slow to take offense and to get angry. 20For man’s anger does not promote the righteousness God [wishes and requires].

WHAT!!! It doesn’t just say to be quick to hear and slow to speak, it says slow to take offense and to get angry. Hmmm, do you think that is because we all tend to take offense and get angry when we don’t HEAR what was really SAID?? God sure does know us well doesn’t He? Oh, and don’t miss that last part, anger does not promote the righteousness of God. Oh, ouch!

Thinking back to Moses and God, How many of you would have been offended, angry, frustrated, and irritated with Moses? I know I sure would have been. What would you have done? I probably would have gotten LOUDER, MAYBE HE WOULD HEAR ME BETTER! Yep, unfortunately that is what I do, better work on that one.

So God got angry, why can’t I? God didn’t lose control. God’s kept his anger under control. It is the out of control anger that is being talked about here. But, here’s another question for you, who is James talking to in that passage? Here it is again for you:

19Understand [this], my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear [a ready listener], slow to speak, slow to take offense and to get angry. 20For man’s anger does not promote the righteousness God [wishes and requires].

Is he talking to the speaker or the hearer? I think it is funny that whether it is another person or God telling us something, we – the hearers – tend to be the first to get upset. When the speaker says to us, “That isn’t what I mean.” or “That’s not what I said.” or “You don’t understand what I am saying.” We take it personally and get mad, maybe even angry. But this passage is talking to the HEARER … it’s up to the HEARER to try to listen, to be a ready listener. Let the speaker tell you until you get it.

Do we really try to hear what God is saying, or do we try to twist it into something that makes sense to us? Something that works out a little better for us? How many times do we pull a Grandpa/Grandma conversation on him where we just keep talking when we never really heard in the first place? Or we think we heard something that wasn’t ever really said? How many times do we pull a Moses on him?

How many times do we say to God, “I just don’t understand …” “This makes no sense to me …” “UGH! Why don’t you just answer me?” How many times do we get so upset, so angry, we just quit listening because we aren’t hearing what we want to hear?

Hearing can be hard sometimes, especially when we are hearing things we really don’t want to hear. Especially when what we are hearing are words of conviction. Know what James says?

22-24Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like. (MSG)

Do you think Moses fooled himself into thinking he was a listener? After all, I’m sure he would tell you that he managed to lead the people for 40 years. What about you? Have you fooled yourself into thinking that you are a listener? If you really are, then “Act on what you hear!” Whether it’s what you are hearing from people, or from God.

If you’re not acting on what you are hearing, then you are just acting like a listener.  Ohhh boy …


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