Yet He Speaks

If you are listening, you will hear in our culture and among those who identify as Christian a cacophony of voices. The task of those who would be serious about following Christ is to determine which voices echo the voice of the Lord and which trumpet a different message. In the end this task must assume that the Lord has spoken. Indeed yet he speaks.

The prophet Isaiah encountered a similar environment in his day. The nations surrounding Israel, and Israel itself, had become deaf to the words of the Lord. But this deafness speaks of the hearers and not in the absence of a voice. It is like the old question about whether a falling tree in the forest makes a noise if nobody is there to hear it. Of course it does.

Similarly God speaks even if nobody hears his voice. Nothing is wrong with the vocal chords of God. The problem lies within the ears of those who should hear.

In Isaiah 30, the prophet emphatically declares the voice of the Lord even though the people are unwilling to hear.

[8] And now, go, write it before them on a tablet

  and inscribe it in a book,

that it may be for the time to come as a witness forever.

[9] For they are a rebellious people, lying children,

children unwilling to hear the instruction of the LORD;

[10] who say to the seers, “Do not see,”

  and to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us what is right;

speak to us smooth things,

  prophesy illusions,

[11] leave the way, turn aside from the path,

  let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel.”

[12] Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel… 

–Isaiah 30:8-12 ESV

Notice the last two lines that I have emboldened. Isaiah uses a masterful literary device to emphasize that the Lord yet speaks. The people may be unwilling to hear. They may ask that the preachers not preach what is right, but instead proclaim smooth illusions. They may cry out boldly that they do not want to hear anymore about the Holy One of Israel.

Yet it is the very Holy One of Israel to whom they turn a deaf ear that yet speaks.

We certainly have those today who speak smooth things. They prophecy illusions. An illusion is something that the eye thinks it sees, but does not exist in reality. The litmus test for preachers today is not whether their message is smooth. It is not whether they are “visionary”. Remember that visions may be illusions. The test is whether it is in agreement with what is declared by the Holy One of Israel.

What is inscribed on the tablet and written in the book is a witness forever.

The Lord – yet he speaks. Are you listening?

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