Monday, October 9, 2017

Conversations with God



I've recently begun an in-depth study of Genesis, a study I am thoroughly enjoying.  The Lord is showing me so many new and wonderful insights that I had not realized in prior studies of Genesis.

Don't you just love when He does that!  No one could ever say the Bible is boring!  It is anything but!

The Holy Writ of old is as new, relevant and exciting today as it was when God inspired men of God to record His words thousands of years ago.

Through this particular study of Genesis, I have been struck by God's face to face conversations with man.  Conversations whose very content showcases how personal our God.


And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, 
and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees 
of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.”  He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”  The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
Genesis 3:8-13

In this passage, God's conversation with Adam and Eve reflect words from the Father.  God is not asking them questions because He does not know the answers.  He is asking these particular questions to speak to their hearts.  Adam and Eve's responses unfortunately demonstrated disobedience.

Yet, in His love,  despite the harsh and just punishments, the Father made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.  Genesis 3:21


The angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, the spring on the way to Shur.  And he said, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?” She said, “I am fleeing from my mistress Sarai.”  The angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress and submit to her.”  The angel of the Lord also said to her, “I will surely multiply your offspring so that they cannot be numbered for multitude.
Genesis 16:7-10

In this passage, the Lord's conversation with Hagar reflect words of the Shepherd.  God did not ask Hagar where she came from or where she was going because He did not know.  He asked her those questions in order to draw her into conversation and to redirect her paths according to His will, and His blessing for her.

In Hagar's own words, “You are a God of seeing,” for she said, “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me." Genesis 16:13

And the Lord appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day...   They said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “She is in the tent.”  The Lord said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him.  Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years. The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah.  So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?”  The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’  Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.”  But Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. He said, “No, but you did laugh.”
Genesis 18: 1, 9-15

In this passage, the Lord's conversation with Abraham reflect words from the Provider.  God did not ask where Sarah was because He did not know.  He asked in order to draw Abraham into conversation about His great and mighty provision of a son through his wife Sarah in her old age.

The Lord's conversation with Sarah reflect words from the Teacher.  God asks Sarah a pointed question to draw her into conversation that would reveal her heart.  She unfortunately denied laughing, indicating that her laughter was not from joy in the Lord, but from lack of faith.  The Lord very pointedly and calmly responds to her lying with "No, but you did laugh."  God's power and omniscience flowing through such a simple statement which would ultimately increase her faith.


but Abraham still stood before the Lord.  Then Abraham drew near and said, 
“Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked?  Suppose there are 
fifty righteous within the city. Will you then sweep away the place and not spare it
for the fifty righteous who are in it?  Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put
 the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be
 that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?”  And the Lord said,
“If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”

Abraham answered and said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes.  Suppose five of the fifty righteous are lacking. Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?” And he said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.”  Again he spoke to him and said, “Suppose forty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of forty I will not do it.”  Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak. Suppose thirty are found there.” He answered, “I will not do it, if I find thirty there.”  He said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord. Suppose twenty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of twenty I will not destroy it.”  Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again but this once. Suppose ten are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.”  And the Lord went his way, when he had finished speaking to Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.
Genesis 18:22-33

In this passage, the Lord's conversation with Abraham reflect words from a Friend.   I realize that Abraham humbly approached the Lord and knew where He stood positionaly before Him, yet God patiently answered all of His questions and did not go His way until Abraham was satisfied with the final response.  


And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day.  
When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, 
and Jacob's hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him.  Then he said, “Let me go, 
for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”  And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.”  Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.”  Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him.  So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.”
Genesis 32:24-30

In this passage, the Lord's conversation with Jacob reflects words from the Deliverer.  God did not ask Jacob his name because He did not know, He asked his name to draw Jacob into conversation in order to ultimately reveal to Jacob his new name, Israel, and to tell Jacob that he had striven with God and with Men and prevailed.


Through these face to face conversations of God with man, it drove home, for me, that indeed we are made in God's image.  God is the creator of conversation.  As we saw in these examples, He spoke in conversations like we do with our parents, our spouses, our children, our schoolmates and our co-workers. 

Speaking for myself, I would say, God's conversations are much more intentional then mine are.  When He converses, He is focused on the other person, caring for them, drawing them out, wanting what is best for them.  I have much to learn from God about conversations.

Unless Jesus returns during our lifetime, we will not have a literal face to face conversation with Him.  But that does not mean we can't talk face to face with Him.   God's conversations with us are recorded throughout the Bible! 

His Conversations, when read with a changed heart, speak to us as Father, Shepherd, Provider, Savior,  Friend and Deliverer.

Father who has compassion on us when we fail.

Provider  who gives us that which is best.

A Teacher who increases our Faith.

Friend who encourages us.

A Deliverer who preserves us.


We can never exhaust our conversations with God.

He is as close as our breathing.  He lives inside of us.

Call to me and I will answer you, 
and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.
Jeremiah 33:3

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me...
John 10:27

He speaks through His creation.

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. (Psalm 19:1-4)

Let the Lord draw you out in conversation.  Speak to Him about anything and everything.  Ask Him questions.  Confess.  Listen and respond to Him. 

Our conversations with the Lord will  convict us, direct our paths, show us great and mighty things, and bathe us in His love.

I never cease to be in awe that our Great God and Father desires to converse with us right where we are.   He is a relational God who delights to spend time with His creation.

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. 
If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, 
I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.
Revelation 3:20


May way all enjoy blessed conversations with the Lord.

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15 comments:

  1. Karen, this is a great teaching on face to face conversations in Genesis! I enjoyed all your points - especially the last one, "He is a relational God who delights to spend time with His creation."

    It still amazes me the Creator of the Universe wants to spend time with me!

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    1. Jerralea, Thank you for your very kind words.

      I know! I feel the same way. :-)

      Thanks so much for stopping by. Your words have blessed me.

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  2. conversation requires a two some - and that's what God is showing me, too, to talk, yes, but also to ask Him questions and wait for His answers - always couched in love.

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    1. Sue, Thank you so much for adding your thoughts here. I appreciated how you framed them. Great insight!

      Blessings,

      Delete
  3. That's a lovely thought! A list of those wonderful conversations. I often think of the conversations of Jesus with the people he came in contact but not those early conversations!

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    1. Helene,

      I agree. I was the same way, until the Lord shed a light on these conversations in Genesis.

      Thank you so much for stopping by. I appreciate it so much!

      Delete
  4. I so agree Karen - God's conversations are so intentional, and He sees us. In our conversations with God, there are no layers. He knows all and He sees all. Isn't it wonderful that we can embrace Him at anytime, anywhere, about anything? Makes my heart smile!

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    1. Robin, I like your insight that, "In our conversations with God, there are no layers. He knows all and He sees all." Thanks so much for sharing this.

      Indeed and Amen!

      Thanks for stopping by. :-)

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  5. I have a lot to learn (and apply) from the way God converses. I am a selfish listener. (I'm working on it ... or should I say God is working on me!)

    Thanks for sharing via Literacy Musing Mondays. I am looking forward to reading what you share this week. The link is currently live. Come join us!

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    Replies
    1. Tami, I can relate to what you are saying for sure.

      You are welcome! Thank you very much. :-)

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  6. Oh, don't you just wish we could have a face-to-face with God! I love Genesis for this very reason. Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Jamie, I often think about the times of God and who He chooses to inhabit those times and the types of experiences they will have with Him. I wonder if we will be the generation that will see Him descending through the clouds on that great day.

      Thanks for stopping by. :-)

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  7. When I began to read the Bible in earnest in 2014, I two was amazed at how interesting the read compared to when I tried to sit down over the years and just start reading it all at once. I didn't finish my read until this year 2017. So many of the chapters are like reading a novel, and I am still learning to scour the words and try to delve deeper as I begin to start my read all over again. I think with the next reading, I will understand it even more than I did the first read. Do you use other sources for understanding? I have used Matthew Henry, but wonder what others use when they are confused on what the scriptures are saying. I read the KJV and also the NIV and others. Using eSword on my computer is a help as you can download for free other versions of the Bible for comparison too.

    Peabea@Peabea Scribbles

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    Replies
    1. Pea Bea, Yes! This is exactly what I am experiencing now that I have started Genesis in this manner.

      I do. First I make sure that I have gotten everything out of the Scripture passage that I believe the Lord is speaking to me THEN I go to Matthew Henry as well. He is my favorite commentator. I was also recently turned on to Precepts Austin which is an exhaustive resource of commentaries and all manner of reference. They are still building their library so Genesis doesn't have as many areas populated.

      I so appreciate you sharing your experience. We seem to be kindred in that area. :-)

      Thanks so much for stopping by.

      Delete
  8. I always find it so amazing how God shows me new things from verses I've read over and over! Thank you for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday on Mommynificent.com! I appreciate it!
    Tina

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Thank you for taking the time to comment.