Guest post by Rob Tims
We love our 30 year-old home, but it does have one relatively significant flaw: it is a LOUD home. Most of the furniture is made of wood or metal. All of the floors are hardwood, laminate, or tile, and there are only a couple of rugs. The result is that you can hear “inside-voice” conversations taking place through the ceiling above you, and other similar issues.
Now, a loud home has its benefits. For example, our children can hardly get away with anything upstairs because we can hear it taking place or being discussed before it takes place. But if you want to have a truly private conversation or simply find a quiet place to clear your head, you have to step out of the house. True privacy and solitude are nowhere to be found in our house unless you are completely alone.
I thought about this recently while reading from the book of Exodus. For 430 years, the Jews lived in Egypt, and as slaves for a good portion of that. Under such conditions, how did anyone hear God? How did they have any kind of hope or faith that God was at work? If I am reading the account correctly, most—if not all—did not. They flatly and frequently rejected Moses’ leadership and message, and who could blame them. Under the oppressive “noise” of Egypt’s culture, the Jews had all but forgotten their own.
If the Jews were going to hear from God again, they were going to have to get out from under Egypt’s “noise.”
And leave they did, and in grand fashion. Chapters 8-11 of Exodus describe what Eugene Peterson calls “an elaborate exorcism, a casting out of demons, so to speak, that freed the Hebrews from domination by evil so that they would be able to hear and follow and worship God.” In order to hear from God, they to get out of the noise they’d grown accustomed to living with.
One of the many lessons I’m taking from this passage is this: God will position us so that we can hear Him. When He is bent on doing something in and/or through us, He will move us to the place we need to be in order for Him to do what He has determined He will do. The only question is whether we will join Him in the movement, or go kicking and screaming.
Rob Tims is husband to Holly and father to Trey, Jono, Abby Jane and Luke. He’s the author of Southern Fried Faith: Confusing Christ and Culture in the Bible Belt, and manages the team behind smallgroup.com at LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville. He writes regularly at RobTims.com and blogs every Friday at Forward Progress.