Many of us wish God would lead us like God leads Israel out of Sinai. We would all like a cloud to guide our next steps, especially one that becomes fire at night. It seems these circumstances we motivate us to obey all that God says and provide great clarity in life. However, as we will see, Israel often broke fellowship with God and became disappointed while this cloud directed them. Hundreds of years in the future, in today’s Psalm, an “unknown voice” (presumably God) tells us why Israel consistently loses their way, even while being led by fire. God bluntly states twice that Israel can never maintain their blessings by charging, “If you would only listen to me, Israel”. We have the same problem as Israel. We don’t need a cloud to direct us; we need to listen to God.
Now, in both the Hebrew and Greek languages, the word for hear (Hebrew: shema; Greek; hupakouo) can also be translated “obey”. When God calls us to hear Him, certainly the necessary action to hearing God is obedience. Many of us are searching for clouds in the sky or clear direction from God. Today I want to ask a simple question: “Have you heard (obeyed) what God has clearly commanded?” I find when people can honestly say, “By the grace of God I seek to follow Him,” they become less fretful over “finding God’s will for their life”, for in obeying God’s voice, God’s will becomes more apparent.