Friday, January 20, 2012

Hearing Voices

Gen. 16:2- "And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai."

We all hear voices. I'm not talking about hearing voices in your head, but unless you're living in complete solitude, you are going to hear voices. Adverstisements, suggestions from a friend, an assignment from your boss, a blog, the news. Voices.

Abram (later known as Abraham) heard the voice of Sarai (later known as Sarah), but it went beyond just hearing. The Bible says he heeded what she said. He did what she asked him to do. The problem is Sarah wasn't asking him to take out the trash, mow the lawn, feed the baby or clean his whiskers out of the sink. No, her suggestion was not over such trivial, every day matters. Hers was a suggestion of profound weight and consequence.

God had promised Abraham a son, but in Sarah's mind, God wasn't making good on His promise. So she took matters into her own hands- "And Sarai said to Abram, Behold, now, the Lord hath restrained my from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her" (Gen. 16:2). This suggestions was terrible on so many levels:

  1. It revealed a complete lack of faith in God.

  2. It was a human "fix" for a "God-sized" dillemma

  3. It went against the will of God

We are tempted to look down on Sarah for making such a suggestion because it's so easy to discern looking from the outside in. We look down on Abraham even more for following her suggestion. But let's be real for a second: we've all listened to and followed bad advice at least once in our lives. We've all probably given some bad advice as well.

Here's the crux of the matter: we all hear voices- voices that want our time, our money, our minds, our obedience and our affection. We can't always prevent the voices that speak into our lives, what we can control is which voice we listen to and follow.

Abraham should have "hearkened unto the voice of God" regardless of what He asked Him to do and no matter how impossible it may have seemed. So should you. So start paying attention to the voices you're hearing. Above all the noise, above human solutions to your problems, above good sounding suggestions- listen to one voice- the voice of God. His is a voice of truth.

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