The Mighty One, God, the LORD, has spoken,
And summoned the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting.
Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,
God has shone forth.
May our God come and not keep silence;
Fire devours before Him,
And it is very tempestuous around Him.
He summons the heavens above,
And the earth, to judge His people:
“Gather My godly ones to Me,
Those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice.”
And the heavens declare His righteousness,
For God Himself is judge. (Psalm 50:1-6)
Just because someone talks, doesn’t mean anyone is listening. It is easy for people to not notice that God is speaking, or to misunderstand him, or to explain him away. Sometimes what God says is not what we want to hear; so it is easy, at such a moment, to decide that we didn’t hear anything at all.
Human failure to pay attention or to believe what we heard, or to properly understand what we heard does not prevent God from communicating with us. God has ways of getting our attention. He is also patient and is willing to repeat himself until we get it.
The time when human beings are least likely to hear what God says is when everything is falling apart. It’s during the dark times, when all seems lost, when people are dying and suffering, that people are most tempted to believe that God has gone silent, that prayers are going unheard, that maybe God is not there or doesn’t care.
But through four hundred years of slavery, God heard every cry, noticed every wince of pain, and he finally answered those prayers and spoke clearly through Moses. Was the lack of Moses for four hundred years indicative of God’s lack of care or his silence? Of course not. God was still there, God was still speaking. He walked beside every slave, he whispered encouragement to every struggling individual, whether that person understood or knew God was speaking. God’s words had their impact and kept him going, even when he seemed most alone and abandoned. We do not get up every morning and face each day, and find ourselves at last in bed at the end, without having experienced the word of God in our lives all day, whether we noticed or not.