Just a short string of thoughts about
hearing from God: I suppose
that there are several components required to be in place and active if
one is to hear from God.
1. God must exist, and be
2. The object of God's
communication must also exist;
3. It is not necessary, but is
helpful, for the object of God's
communication to be listening (I have learned by experience that God
knows how thick my skull is, and what it takes to get through to me if
I am somewhat inclined to hear from Him);
4. The object of God's
communications must have 'ears to hear',
or 'hearing ears';
5. There must be no significant
interference which would block
Then, if there is effective
communication, one must then deal with it
one way of the other. (Stop and ponder this for a moment - it may
determine either benefits or 'non-benefits').
Concerning this last component of
effective communication, two portions
of Scripture come to my mind, with opposite results.
First is a story about King Ahab, a
King of the Northern Kingdom of
Israel hundreds of years Before Christ. Ahab's son-in-law was
Jehoshaphat, King of Judah at that time. Ahab was evil, but
Jehoshaphat was good.
18: Now Jehoshaphat
had much wealth and honor, and he became son-in-law to
Ahab. And after some years he went down to Ahab in Samaria.
And Ahab slaughtered many sheep and cattle for him and for the people
who were with him, and urged him to go up against Ramoth-Gilead.
And Ahab the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, "Will
you go up with me to Ramoth-Gilead?" And he answered him, "I am as you
are, and my people are as your people with you in war."
Then Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, "Seek first of all the
word of Yahweh." Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets, four
hundred men. And he said to them, "Shall we go to Ramoth-Gilead to
battle, or shall we cease?" And they said, "Go up, since God will give
it into the hand of the king."
Then Jehoshaphat said, "Is there not here another prophet of Yahweh
that we might inquire of him?" Then the king of Israel said to
Jehoshaphat, "There is yet one man by whom to seek Yahweh, but I hate
him, because he never prophesies good concerning me, but always
disaster. He is Micaiah the son of Imlah." Then Jehoshaphat said, "Let
not the king say thus."
Then the king of Israel called to a eunuch and said, "Quickly bring
Micaiah the son of Imlah."
Now the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah were each
sitting on his throne, clothed in robes. And they were sitting at the
threshing floor at the entrance of the gate of Samaria, and all the
prophets were prophesying before them. Zedekiah the son of Kenaanah
made for himself horns of iron, and he said, "Thus says Yahweh: 'With
these you will gore Aram to their destruction.'" And all the prophets
prophesied thus, saying, "Go up to Ramoth-Gilead and triumph! Yahweh
will give it into the hand of the king."
Then the messenger who went to call Micaiah said to him, "Behold, the
words of the prophets are good with one voice to the king. Please let
your word be as one with them and speak good." But Micaiah said, "As
Yahweh lives, only what my God has said, that will I speak." And when
he had come to the king, the king said to him, "Micaiah, shall we go to
Ramoth-Gilead to war or shall I cease?" And he said, "Go up and
triumph! They shall be given into your hand." But the king said to him,
"How many times shall I make you swear that you speak nothing except
the truth in the name of Yahweh?" Then he said, "I saw all Israel
scattered upon the mountains like sheep that had no shepherd. And
Yahweh said, 'These have no masters; let them return to his own house
Then the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, "Did I not say to you he
would not prophesy good concerning me, but only disaster?" Then Micaiah
said, "Therefore hear the word of Yahweh: I saw Yahweh sitting upon his
throne with all the host of heaven standing on his right and on his
left. And Yahweh said, 'Who will entice Ahab the king of Israel that he
would go up and fall at Ramoth-Gilead?' And one said this, and another
said that. Then a spirit came forth and stood before Yahweh and said,
'I will entice him.' Then Yahweh said to him, 'By what means?' Then he
said, 'I will go forth and will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all
his prophets.' And he said, 'You will entice him and will also succeed.
Go out and do so.' So now, behold, Yahweh has put a spirit of deception
into the mouths of these your prophets. Yahweh has spoken disaster
Then Zedekiah the son of Kenaanah came near and struck Micaiah on the
cheek and said, "Which way did the Spirit of Yahweh come from me to
speak to you?" Then Micaiah said, "Behold, you will see on that day
when you go into a private room to hide yourself." Then the king of
Israel said, "Take Micaiah and return him to Amon the commander of the
city and to Jehoash the son of the king, and say, 'Thus says the king:
"Put this one into the prison house, and let him eat a meager ration of
bread and water until I return in peace."'" And Micaiah said, "If you
surely return in peace Yahweh has not spoken with me." Then he said,
"Hear, peoples, all of them!"
Then the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah went up to
Ramoth-Gilead. And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, "I will
disguise myself and go into battle, but you, wear your garments." So
the king of Israel disguised himself, and they went to war. Now the
king of Aram had commanded the commanders of his chariots, saying, "Do
not fight with the small or the great, but only with the king of
Israel." And it happened that when the commanders of the chariots saw
Jehoshaphat, then they said, "It is the king of Israel!" And they
turned against him to fight. Then Jehoshaphat cried out and Yahweh
helped him. God drove them away from him. And it happened that when the
commanders of the chariots saw that it was not the king of Israel, they
turned back from following him.
Now a certain man drew the bow at random and struck the king of Israel
between the soldering of his breastplate armor. Then he said to the
chariot driver, "Turn around; get me away from the war camp, for I am
And the battle went on that day, and the king of Israel was propped up
in the chariot facing Aram until the evening. And he died at the time
of the going down of the sun.
So, King Ahab had
'ears to hear' in that he heard a communication from God, but he was
unable or unwilling to accept and obey the word of God through the
prophet (which would have saved his life), and he died in the battle.
miraculous, tale is told in the New Testament. It has to do with
a man named Apollos, and a couple named Priscilla and Aquila.
Apollos was an eloquent man from Alexandra, and Priscilla and Aquila
were tent-makers and companions of the Apostle Paul.
Now a certain Jew
named Apollos, a native Alexandrian, arrived in Ephesus—an eloquent man
who was well-versed in the scriptures. This man had been
instructed in the way of the Lord, and being enthusiastic in spirit, he
was speaking and teaching accurately the things about Jesus, although
he knew only the baptism of John. And he began to speak boldly in
the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him
aside and explained the way of God to him more accurately. And when he
wanted to cross over to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote
to the disciples to welcome him. When he arrived, he assisted greatly
those who had believed through grace. For he was vigorously
refuting the Jews in public, demonstrating through the scriptures that
the Christ was Jesus.
It amazes me that Apollos, an
eloquent man who was 'mighty in the
Scriptures', was able to receive clarification of the God's Gospel
message from a couple of layman tent-makers! I consider this to
be a major miracle! Not only was he able to listen to what they
said, but he was also able to integrate their instructions into his
understanding of God and His message, and to communication that
effectively to others!!
He heard the word of God and
obeyed. Amazing grace from God!!
From these two stories I perceive
that God has an uncanny knack for
choosing to speak to us through the channel which we are least likely
to hear! The reason for this is clearly explained in the
1Co 1:27 But
the foolish things
of the world God chose in order that he might put to shame the wise,
and the weak things of the world God chose in order that he might put
to shame the strong,
1Co 1:28 and the insignificant of the world, and the despised,
God chose, the things that are not, in order that he might abolish the
things that are,
1Co 1:29 so that all flesh may not boast before God.
God chooses those who are not
respected that He might shame those who
think that they are respectable. If King Ahab had been able to
receive God's message through the despised prophet Micaiah,
it would have saved his life! But he could not, and was slain.
Don't let that happen to you, dear