Listen and Obey
May 31, 2011 § 1 Comment
We are a people of the Word. And we worship a speaking God. That is why the Ten Commandments in Deuteronomy 5 are heard as God’s voice “from the fire” (5:24). However, this Word needed interpretation, because “this great fire will consume us… for what mortal man has ever heard the voice of the living God speaking out of fire, as we have, and survived?” (5:25-26). Therefore, the request from the elders that Moses be the one to “go near and listen to all that the Lord our God says. Then tell us whatever the Lord our God tells you. We will listen and obey” (5:27). The Word is always a mediated Word. Just as the elders needed Moses to write down what he heard God is saying to them, we still need each other in communities of interpretation to discern God’s Word from the all-consuming fire. Listening and obedience are ways in which we are willing to submit ourselves to the speaking of others. First of all to God as Another, but also to each other in the process of interpreting God’s Word. It is not easy to cultivate habits of listening and obedience in a culture that lives by the illusion of individualism, and in which the ideal is to buffer the self from others. Who are you listening to when it comes to the most significant things in your life… or even about those things that you think you already know it all?