Do You Hear What I Hear

Do you hear what I hear?  On this 4th Sunday after the Epiphany of our Lord we need to hear what our God has to say.  After just a few words God’s Old Testament people were scared to death!

Our text isn’t about worship etiquette or how not to offend God.  Deuteronomy literally means – second law.  Moses was recapping for Israel everything that he told them over the course of his life in four sermons because Moses was about to die.  As Moses writes these words he’s thinking back to the time that Israel was camped at the foot of Mt. Sinai.  They had escaped through the Red Sea watching Pharaoh’s army get flushed away.  God had obviously been with them – even his visible presence of a pillar of cloud by day and fire by night was a powerful witness that God was with them.  At Mt. Sinai the problem wasn’t God abandoning them.  The problem was God being with them.  God simply wanted to tell the people his Holy Law – such as how to worship, what to eat, how to live.   But when Israel heard God speak to them, with thunder, fire and earthquakes, and the voice of God himself – they were afraid.  They said, Let us not hear the voice of the LORD our God nor see this great fire anymore, or we will die.  Do you hear what I hear?  This says that we will die if we hear God!

Most of you are familiar with the parable of the prodigal son – how the father rejoices – he doesn’t care what the son has done – he rejoices that his son has come home.  A brother in the ministry once shared that he was counseling a family where the son had gone off and sowed his wild oats, use your imagination – but he came back.  The father wanted to tell him how much he loved him, so he said to Johnny, “Do you remember the story of the prodigal son?”  Johnny (he wasn’t little anymore) became angry and lashed out, “I don’t want to be your prodigal son!”

What happened?  Is the story of the prodigal son one of forgiveness and faithful love? Or is the story of the prodigal son one of sin and details of consequences of that sin?  It’s both isn’t it?  Depending on your circumstances with whom do you relate, the loving father or the guilty, broken son?

Want to hear more?  Watch this week’s message taken from Deuteronomy 18 – Do you hear what I hear?