I decided against reading the Bible in one year. For me, it became about getting the reading done, some Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs and I missed truly engaging in what the Word was saying to me. I’d just get engaged and be moved to another section of Scripture. So, I’ve begun a very, very slow walk, savoring the delicacies of the Word as I go. I decided to begin in Hebrews. Why not, nice Jewish-believer that I am?
God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets. Hebrews 1:1
Interesting. I get no further than the first verse and my mind starts. I don’t know what it starts, but so it begins.
Things had changed. The author describes what “was”, how it used-to-be. Each of the prophets did not relay God’s message in the same manner. He is a God of diversity in communication. Different times and seasons called for different methods. Remember Isaiah who preached naked for 3 years? Yikes! Before anything happened God was speaking. His words preceded prosperity and plenty, disaster and destruction. Most of the Old Testament leaders had never heard God’s voice. They had to trust the prophet who spoke for God. Sometimes the prophet was not a true-prophet and the advice was not from God (remember Shemaiah who taught people to rebel against God?). Those God did speak to and through often bore a cost in their lives. They were outcasts, rejected and even killed.
There is now a different way. There must have been, as the writer eludes to "then" and is speaking to them "now". The writer goes on, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds (Heb 1:2). God was doing something differently. He had spoken to them personally, directly, as flesh and blood to the people of the day. Jesus was a transition. From…God spoke to the people through prophets to… God through Jesus speaking directly to people living in the day to clearly spell out the gospel of good news. Yet, I said this was only a transition. What did it transition to?
Today, it is the Holy Spirit who speaks. In Hebrews 3:7 we read, Today, if you will hear His voice…. The Holy Spirit whom is alive and living within us tells us that today – now – after the transition period we each, every day, all the time can hear His voice. Today it is up to you. Today, if you WILL hear His voice….
As New Testament believers we have a choice. God is speaking to us. First, the prophets, then Jesus and now God within as the Holy Spirit, Christ-in-us speaks, shares and encourages us. The question is, “WILL you quiet your mind? WILL you stop the busyness, WILL you rest that you may hear, and in the hearing know and in the knowing be restored to His rest? It is a question of your WILL.
As the fathers had to trust the prophet to speak accurately for God, so we have to trust the Spirit within. How can we trust if we do not know? How can we trust if we do not hear? There was a day of the prophets. There was a day of Jesus on the earth. There was a day of preachers telling us what to believe. But today, today IS a day of hearing for yourself, of knowing your God and of intimacy with the Creator of the world who lives within you and is always drawing you towards Him to heal, restore, encourage and bring peace and joy. WILL you join me in listening?