Ignoring Heaven’s Voice
Scripture Resource Passage: Nehemiah 13:1-22 The post works best when you read the passage first–just a suggestion.
She felt prompted to ask, “Was it a slow fade?” Another skeptically asked, “The Word of God, it disappeared overnight?”
Apparently the written Word’s influence disappeared during bleak and silent nights when Heaven’s voice was ignored.
Without hearing God’s written Word, without Scripture’s regular influence God’s people wander like blind men enduring a wilderness night. No guidance directs them, save what they personally create and what the Satan whispers. The impact is felt by individuals, families and nations.
When leaders (especially leaders) are not hearing and listening with understanding, everyone suffers—a spiritual pandemic. Faith, according to many illustrations in Scripture, always involves social relationships, not solitary Lone Rangers. Nehemiah’s day was not an exception. Hint: neither is ours.
Nehemiah’s book documents a national-level tragedy as he reports what happens when the Word of God is not heard. Chart the sad circumstances in today’s Scripture Resource Passage and compare it to our own (Nehemiah 13:1-22).
Whether as a slow fade or rapidly chosen disobedience Nehemiah’s people walked away from God. Nehemiah-the-strong walks directly into the midst of those ignoring God’s instructions (Nehemiah 13:1-3). He corrects impudent sinful behaviors as direct disregards of God (Nehemiah 13:4-5). Nehemiah demands that illicit practices immediately cease; and to ensure compliance puts new leaders into place (Nehemiah 13:13).
Under what circumstances had the people gone astray? We wisely ask, “How had such things happened?” These defiant acts occurred because, the Word of God was absent. Jesus will later remind his disciples: “Man does not live on bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4 as Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 8:3). Disciple’s must maintain the life-giving connection with God’s written Word.
Nehemiah presses forward asserting: “your behavior and your attitudes are not right. We must set the house of God into proper order [a Simkins’ paraphrase]” (Nehemiah 13:15-19).
1. In what ways do you arrange your life in order to hear God speak through Scripture?
2. In your experience are the words of Mark Hall’s song from Casting Crowns a true vision of a slow fade in a person’s spiritual life?
It’s a slow fade when you give yourself away
It’s a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself always
People never crumble in a day
It’s a slow fade, it’s a slow fade.
Mark Hall, It’s a Slow Fade, by Casting Crowns from the album The Altar and the Crown, 2007.