Yet he gave a command to the skies above and opened the doors of the heavens . . . [Psalm 78:23, NIV] ; And he [Jesus] continued, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions! [Mark 7:9, NIV]
On a recent NPR broadcast, they were discussing the evolution of hearing in medicine. For so long, all diagnoses were based on what a physician or healer could see in addition to the report of the patient. However, with the advent of some basic technology (the stethoscope), a doctor could not “hear” inside the body. In fact, they posited, that sight is like a movie screen, ever before us, but sound is like a swimming pool, all around us. The trick is to learn to discern what we are hearing.
Sounds are everywhere. We tend to tune out most of them. Even in the “silence,” there is sound. And certainly, inside the body, there are a multitude of noises and vibrations.
In the midst of all the clamor, we are told, there is also the “still small voice” of God.
There are many recorded commands of God in the Bible. For this reason, this book guides believers. But I believe there have been interpretations and assumptions about the commands: which are truly the commands of God and which are the fabrications of humans? Which are culturally grounded and which are unbound by time or space or geography?
We are also faced with the mystery of the law articulated through the Jewish history and God’s commands in the Old Testament and the power of grace with the appearance of the Messiah in the New Testament and Jesus’s commands.
It is for this reason that we must look within and without. We must read and contemplate and engage in conversation. But we must also pray, meditate, and spend time within the secret places of God alone.