"You saw no form of any kind the day the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire. Therefore watch yourselves very carefully, so that you do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol, an image of any shape..." Deuteronomy 4:15-16
Today I landed in Deuteronomy chapter 4. I paused as I read so many verses about you only heard, you saw no form, you just heard a voice! Twelve times in this single chapter is hear and voice.
Then verses 15 and 16 caution that a voice may not be enough and the people might be compelled to make a form! As it progresses, there is a caution that creation could even become the object of worship. Why? Because we can see it! I thought to myself, God must know and Satan must know that visual images erode hearing. Satan rebelled and one third of the angels followed suit. Satan was the most beautiful of all the angels. Eve, when in the garden, saw the fruit and it was pleasing to the eyes. David saw Bathsheba and it pleased his eyes. Yet, we have to believe God was screaming in his ears.
In Romans Chapter 1, focus was redirected to a creature that could be seen with the eyes. Many of the Israelites did not enter the good land because of what they saw with their eyes in spite of hearing Joshua and Caleb and God's promises. As I pondered, I recognized that much of my own activity involves watching.
Many moons ago people used to simply listen to the radio - there were no images; no TV. I like to watch versus listen because sometimes it is just mind-numbing and it makes me feel relaxed. Much easier to fall asleep watching TV versus listening to a dear friend at the other end of a phone line. Listening is considerably more difficult and requires a heightened attention! It requires a pondering to really hear and understand every word because there are no visual images filling in the gaps. Listening for me requires a deeper faith because many times it does not line up with what I visually see. I don’t like gaps. I don’t like space where it appears nothing is happening. That will set me up badly if I don’t settle in to being comfortable with JUST HEARING GOD. So today, Deuteronomy 4:15-16 are verses that I want written on my heart.
Love to all of you in this trying season,