Is God too loud or not loud enough?

Good morning everyone,
Our theme for this month: “The awesome reality of the presence of God”
Our Bible verse for today: “… but don’t let God speak to us, or we will all die.” Exodus 20:19 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Is God too loud or not loud enough?
In the passage from Exodus chapter twenty which I cited above, Moses had just come down from the mountain after receiving the Ten Commandments from God. The Israelites had been standing in the valley, at the foot of the mountain, witnessing the thunder and lightning and the sound of the trumpets, and they saw the mountain surrounded by smoke as God communicated with Moses. And it scared them witless. So, when Moses came down from the mountain, the trembling people, knowing they were about to receive a message from God, said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen, but don’t let God speak to us, or we will die.”
In their defense, God was being a bit dramatic and showy. It would have scared me too. Likewise, earlier in Exodus when Moses encountered God at the burning bush, that too was one of those Ripley’s Believe it or Not moments – a real attention-getter.
Yet, as we know from Scripture and from personal experience, the overwhelming majority of the time God’s presence and His voice are much more subtle and discrete – sometimes to the point of being a whisper. So, does God speak too loudly or not loudly enough? Is His presence too obvious, or not obvious enough?
In her book “Teaching Stones to Talk”, author Annie Dillard makes the case that we prefer it when God is subtle and quiet. Too much of Him scares us. So, our tendency is to douse the burning bush, turn away from the mountain, and ask Moses (or the preacher) to speak to us on God’s behalf so we don’t have to deal with Him directly. And sadly, often, God complies with our request. He limits His communication and revelation to what we will accept and can handle.
So, God does speak to us and show Himself to us through His creation. But instead of seeing it for ourselves, we need someone else to point it out to us. And He speaks to us through His inspired Word (the Bible). But instead of digging deeply into it for ourselves, we wait for the preacher to serve it up to us it on Sunday mornings in small, easily digestible portions. And God speaks to us through our interactions with other Holy Spirit-bearing Christians. But instead of being there at the gatherings of God’s people like we’re supposed to be (Hebrews 10:24-25), so God can speak to us through them, we skip church and consequently we miss God.
Does God speak too loudly or not loudly enough? I guess the answer depends on you. In Jeremiah 29:13-14 God says, “You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart. I will be found by you …”
He will be found by you if you really want Him. The question is, how much of God do you want? Is He too loud for you, or not loud enough?
God bless,
Pastor Jim
Copyright © 2022 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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