Andy Hollifield 3-24-18
“The word of the Lord came unto me.” That phrase is used 61 times in the bible, all of which are in the Old Testament. If you leave off “me” the rest of the phrase is used 102 times. I wondered for just a minute why it was only used in the Old Testament and then it occurred to me. This was at a time when the Lord was speaking to his people primarily through prophets and his priests. Now, since the crucifixion, we all have direct access to the throne of God. There are some other phrases I also like that we overlook a lot of times when we read. “The word of the Lord came unto me again” and “the word of the Lord came also unto me.” I am thankful that the word of the Lord didn’t just come to other people, but it came “also” unto me. I am also glad that it came “again” unto me. Can you imagine what your life would be like if the word of the Lord never came unto you or came only once? Think of the disappointment that we would feel if we called upon the Lord but never heard a word from him. I think of the scripture 1 Kings 18:26, 28, and 29. This was the prophets of Baal in the contest with Elijah on Mt. Carmel to prove who was the true God; the God of Elijah or Baal. Verse 26 says, “And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made.” Their plight continues in verse 28 and 29 and it says, “And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them. Verse 29, And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded.” Can you picture that in your mind? Baal was a false god of the Phoenicians and Canaanites that was believed to be the god of fertility, weather, rain, wind, lightning, seasons, and war. There were 450 prophets of Baal on the mountain that day and Jezebel, the wife of King Ahab was a Baal worshipper. Given the fact that Baal was considered to be the god of lightning, can you imagine the disappointment when he didn’t answer by fire and consume the sacrifices they had placed on the altar? I want to say this at this point, if you think that your god requires you to cut yourself and jump up and down on an altar, you need to replace your god. There is only one true and living God and that is God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. The triune God, the Holy Trinity. His only requirement is an humble heart and “if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” That is from Romans 10 verse 9. It would be bad enough to live with the disappointment that the god you believed in and dedicated yourself to didn’t answer you, but to be made fun of because of it in front of all those people as Elijah did to them, that would be adding insult to injury. Verse 27 says, And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked.” That must have been a humiliating experience for them but they didn’t have to live with the embarrassment for long because they were all slaughtered at the end of the contest. The contest came to an end when Elijah prayed 63 words and the fire of God fell from heaven and consumed not only the sacrifice of Elijah which had been drenched with water 12 barrels, but also the trench full of water and the altar of stones that Elijah had built. There was no question who the real God was after that! One other thing I thought was significant in 1 Kings 18 talking about Baal. The bible said in verses 26 and 29, “there was no voice, nor any that answered,” and in 29; “nor any that regarded” which means to see or pay attention or to take into account. It didn’t say that those gods “didn’t do” those things. It said there “was none” to do those things. They were serving and fixing to die for gods that were existed only in their minds.
I didn’t mean to get side-tracked but I wanted to give an example of having a god that wouldn’t, and in their case couldn’t, hear them. How sad that would be. Like I mentioned, 102 times the bible says “The word of the Lord came unto…” but I am even more thankful for the 61 times it says “The word of the Lord came unto me.” I like it when he talks to me personally. Ever since that veil was “rent in twain from the top to the bottom” man has had direct access to God anytime we want to use it. The access came from God to man. Jesus said in Revelation 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” The bible said in John 1:1 that “the Word was God.” That means that when the bible says “The word of the Lord came unto me” the Lord himself is coming unto you. I am glad that we can have that sweet communion with the Lord in John 1:1, but I am also glad that on life’s pathway “He leadeth me” according to Psalms 23. If he is leading, then he has to be with us and out in front. I am glad that we don’t have to look for signs but all we have to do is listen for his voice. Jesus said in John 10:27 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” Did you catch all of that? It said we hear his voice. That can only mean that he talks to us. It also said that he knows us. It’s not like we are calling upon someone that we have never met, we already have a relationship with him if we have been born again. If you haven’t, he don’t hear you because you are not his sheep. If you cry out to him for mercy and forgiveness, then he will hear you. Man, it sure is good to have a God that knows us and talks to us, and listens to us when we cry out to him.
Many be the times when things in my life may have looked hopeless until I called out to him and he called back to me. A lot of those times, he just said “Peace, be still” just like he did in Mark 4:39 when he spoke to the wind and the sea. Just hearing his voice; a voice I know well, when his word comes unto me, it either calms the storm in my life or it calms me. I don’t have to do any rituals to get his attention, he regards me whether I am calling out to him or not. Psalms 33:18 says, Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy. He is always watching. I don’t have to carry on some big drama neither, all I have to do is pray and he will answer by fire if that is what is needed. I bet by now you are thinking about all of those times in your life when “The word of the Lord came unto” you and even if the storm was still raging, he brought that “peace of God, which passeth all understanding” (Philippians 4:7) to your heart. Jonah waited 3 days to call on him and he delivered. Peter called on him immediately when he began to sink and Jesus immediately caught him. Daniel had to wait for a word from the Lord for 21 days because the devil was trying to hinder the angel that was bringing the answer from God. There is one thing about it; if you will call on him and you’re one of his; he will answer. “The Word of the Lord” will come unto you again anytime you need him. In times of doubt and confusion, his word will bring comfort, assurance, and direction. I am so thankful that “The word of the Lord came unto me”. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!