It appears that hardwired in every child is an ability to never quite hear what their parents say. It is almost as if everything that is said to a child must be immediately met with “what?” even if they physically heard what you said. The struggle to communicate to them and see results is quite intense.
I have lamented this many times to people and never really thought it applied to me anymore. Certainly I have grown up, right? Then I read Numbers 14. In Numbers 14 Moses is leading the Israelites along after freeing them from Egyptian slavery. One might think that they would be willing to listen well to God because He has powerfully showed up. He rescued them.
Instead they complain. They grumble against God. They wish they were back in Egypt. They even decide to vote in a leader to take them back! Basically they look at God and say “yes, I know you are demonstrating your love for us, but I don’t really think you love us.” They are in one sense hearing and seeing God act out a radical love for them and in the very next breath complaining that they aren’t slaves anymore.
I have been guilty of this. I have had times when things just weren’t going my way, and even though I saw God minister to me in His grace during those times, I still complained about it. I still questioned God there. I guess adults are just older kids.
When Jesus hung on the cross, people around him mocked him and even cast lots for his clothing. In a most dramatic fashion, they did not hear what was being said. Even though He had shown the kingdom of God to them in the flesh, they just did not listen. They would rather do things their own way and in doing rejected the only means of freedom.
The challenge is this: Do not get so caught up in religious tradition that you miss the message of Christ to you. I pray that as we enter into this coming season leading up to Easter Sunday that we would hear loud and clear the voice of God “I love you.”