If only we could hear the tone of voice that Moses used as he spoke to the people. Was it loud or soft, calm and firm or urgent and passionate? Did he stand quietly behind the podium or did he pace back and forth? Where were other leaders and where were the children? Studies tell us that as much as 70 percent of communication comes from these non-verbal sources, but we can only speculate on the various possibilities that seem to fit this occasion and this message.
As you imagine the circumstances and the event, there are some things that are clear. Moses was an older and highly respected leader, so when he spoke, it would be with authority and experience. Undoubtedly the people knew that on more than one occasion God had spoken directly and audibly to him and through him amazing miracles had been performed, not only in Egypt but throughout their wilderness wanderings. The older generation who had experienced crossing the Red Sea and came close to going into the Promised Land were no longer alive, but their children and grandchildren were no doubt eager and ready to move on.
Moses knew that the perspective on the past which he clearly gave to them and the promises of God for the future would help them move on with success, but he also realized that they needed to embrace internally the One true God and His purposes. What was in their hearts would determine their actions. He had lived long enough to know that to be an absolute fact.
How much of good communication is the responsibility of the speaker and how much of it is the responsibility of the listener? While we cannot know exactly how Moses sounded, what we do know is that the messages which he gave were filled with the greatest truth for life that those people would ever hear. By the way, are you listening?
These two chapters are so rich in God’s promises. My favorites are 7:13 and 8:7. He promises to love me and bless me, and He is bringing me into a good land. What more could we ever want?
I’ve been enjoying this study. For me, Chapter 8 brings up a question many of our older folks have–Why aren’t we being taught God’s retribution for disobedience any longer? We’ve gone way over to the love and grace side, but since God never changes, what’s happened to this side? When I was 19 my life took a very disagreeable turn–in my opinion. I cried, was sooo angry, opened my Bible, and there was Deut. 8:5. I got it–I’d been pushing my limits and He pushed back. Being so outgoing, I don’t always know if I’m overstepping God’s plan, but when I do…I DO get punished. Then I have a tantrum, then I can hear Him say “You’ve done this before…when will you learn? You’re only hurting yourself and still not getting it.” I repeatedly need humbling, and I get it. When I confess and ask forgiveness, my Father picks up the pieces of my life and we continue on…again. This chapter speaks to my pride–my constant downfall. There is a Corrie ten Boom comment on this in my Bible: “Wouldn’t it be absurd if the donkey that bore Jesus into Jerusalem thought all the cheering was for him?” That’s humbling. Maybe I should make a banner to put on my bathroom mirror?
I’ve just had an AH HA moment: Maybe that’s why my life has been so unusual and taken so many different and unexpected turns. “Christine, time to try another way of life. You’re getting too full of yourself in this one.” Yes, I can definitely see this pattern–God picking up the pieces of my life after my fall due to pride–and sending me into a different direction. Gee…at 60 I finally figured out the huge WHY. It has been an incredible life! Thank you for never giving up on me, Lord.
Oops! I forgot about accountability. We’re not hearing much about this any longer, either. To me, these chapters are all about being accountable for our actions, to God and others. He says very plainly what the outcome will be if they aren’t. ‘This is what you did, this was the result, now you’re finally here–don’t mess up again or I’ll take it away again.’ Responsibility for our actions and words. I sure wish I’d learned this earlier in my life. When I finally did, in my 40s, I made many calls, asking for forgiveness.
Didn’t mean to preach–these are powerful learning chapters that I didn’t learn early enough.
Christine, thank you for sharing your experiences. I especially enjoyed your quote about the donkey that carried Jesus into Jerusalem…..doesn’t that just about say it all regarding how self-important we can become?
Also thank you for recommending the “Encouragement Bible”. My order just came in and it’s such a lovely presentation!
“Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years.”
As my study bible points out: “It’s usually easy for us to take God’s protection for granted.”
It’s kind of amusing to think that the Israelites didn’t “take notice” that after 40 years their clothes had not worn out. And yet how often do I “take notice” and say thank you to God for the “quiet blessings”…..the 19 year old car that hasn’t broken down….the computer that is running….not to mention my body parts that are giving such long service.
Dear Lord keep me mindful and thankful for the “quiet blessings”.
I like your habit of praising God for these things!
“Gee, Lord….when will I get ‘quiet blessings’? You have me swimming upstream or I’m going over the waterfall. What’s with that?”
Sandy, I really had to think about your input. Seriously, that is a new concept here. After 15 minutes of pondering, No quiet blessings connected with protection. I’m either in negative or in overflowing abundance, depending on where God has put me this time. I can easily distinguish Satan coming after me when I’m doing what I’m supposed to versus Father disciplining me, and the blessings are different in each, as is the protection. When God tags me for something I can tell how important it is to Him by how much I get nailed–then God comes behind and picks up all the pieces Satan has demolished. That has been an incredible thing to watch and live through (but I wouldn’t wish it on anyone), and those blessings are abundant and loud and very obvious. I’m jealous! I’ve had 4 deaths the past 3 weeks but a fabulous 3 hours today at the iSanctuary Fundraiser–way down then way up. God and I are going to have a talk about ‘quiet blessings’! Thank you for putting it out there. Enjoy your Bible.
God loves you so much! May you discover this love in new ways, and get drenched in His love and His presence as you talk with Him about ‘quiet blessings’!