Tuesday, August 11, 2015

"An Unfamiliar Voice"

Psalm 81.5c (CJB), 6 (TEV)

“I heard an unfamiliar voice say, ‘I took the burdens off your backs;
I let you put down your loads of bricks.’”


It's easy to fall into a routine, even a demanding one. By sheer force of determination, we dutifully obey all the familiar voices from our past…

“Eat your vegetables.”
“Sit up straight.”
“Wipe that smile off your face.”
“Go to bed.”
“Finish school.”
“Get a job.”
“Go to work.”
“Pay your bills.”
“Quit complaining.”
“Be a man.”
“Buck up.”
“Make something of yourself.”

Crashing through the steady roar of yesterday’s voices comes another one, “an unfamiliar voice, a voice almost unrecognizable by its nearly unbelievable claim…

“I heard an unfamiliar voice say, ‘I took the burdens off
your backs; I let you put down your loads of bricks.’”

The Hebrews suffered under the tyranny of Pharaoh 1,500 years before the coming of Christ. The Egyptians “appointed taskmasters… to afflict them with hard labor” (Exodus 1.11). The children of Israel were forced as slaves to carry bricks and mortar to building sites for the construction of cities in Egypt. In the midst of their hardship they heard “an unfamiliar voice” from an unknown man claiming to speak for God. Moses made God’s people drop their burdens and throw down their bricks.

Familiar voices from our past, however well intended, can demoralize us into a stupor of rote obedience. Under the brickloads of their crushing weight, these voices can render us spiritually senseless. We become deafened to the real voice of God and numbly respond to the pounding and nagging of hyper-responsibility and blind obedience. We find ourselves conscientious to perform duties that really don’t matter. We become our own evil taskmasters.

Today I will listen for the “still small voice” of the Spirit (1st Kings 19.12), “the voice of one crying in the wilderness” of my over-achievement (Mark 1.3), the “unfamiliar voice” of the One who says…


“Come to Me, all
you who labor and
are heavy laden, and
I will give you rest.

Take My yoke upon
you and learn from
Me, for I am gentle
and lowly in heart,
and you will find rest
for your souls. For My
yoke is easy and My
burden is light.”

Matthew 11.28-30 NASU


“…casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”
1st Peter 5.7 NKJV

“I heard an unfamiliar voice say, ‘I took the burdens off
your backs; I let you put down your loads of bricks.’”

4 comments:

One Sided said...

Here is a tip. To hear that still small voice, you need to find a place without distraction, clear your head, your heart and listen.

Or else you may think God was in the wind and the fire around you.

Dave's Bible Blog said...

that's a great tip, one-sided. thanks.

dave

Nitewrit said...

Dave,

Since I listened to that unfamiliar voice 29 years ago I have lain my bricks down. Sometimes one by one, but I think they all are off me and the voice is not so unfamiliar anymore. I just more could understand that.

Larry E.

Dave Scriven said...

Laying brinks down "one by one". Good thought Larry.