I've been captivated by the story of Jehoshaphat and Ahab, kings of Judah and Israel as told in 2 Chronicles for some time. It's a classic. Jehoshaphat is a lover of God's word who sends an army of preachers throughout the land, armed with the Book of the Law. The effect of this teaching is phenomenal. The people are transformed and the surrounding nations wont wage war. Traditional enemies 'The Philistines' (of Goliath fame) wont declare war, instead they and the other nations bring gifts. God's people have blessing showered on them by the pagan nations who come to fear the LORD. God's people are strong because they love what God says. Jehoshaphat looks like the King everyone has been waiting for.
Disappointment isn't far off. Everything falls apart in Eden when God's word is opposed. Adam and Eve know God's word but presume to know better. That's Bible Chapter 3, in Chapter 1 the void darkness of the Universe hasn't been able to resist God's command for Light to happen, but humanity will takes their stand. The serpent entices them to sin and they fall flat on their faces. Going into the land God warns his people through Moses not to forget God's word. They're warned that false prophets will come to entice them away - testing their hearts, offering them what their rebellious desires want. Asking them to choose life.
Same story with Ahab. Four hundred yes-men entice him to go to war so he'll die. Sent by God to test his heart and pass judgement. The godly-prophet Micaiah plays along for a moment, but Ahab doesn't buy it. The charge comes - God's people have become Sheep without a Shepherd - a Kingdom without a King, people without God's word. Jehoshaphat made an near fatal error in loving a man who hated God's word. They're tested by God and fail. So much for the bright start. Another rebel King leavinng us hungry for The King who is The Word, leaving us rejoicing that he's come.
Now we have The Word and we have his word written. Tyndale translated it, it's more accessible that it's ever been. Today if you hear his voice? No, Today when. And it's written on our hearts by the Holy Spirit. We have the mind of Christ, showing us the Father by the presence of the Holy Spirit. Is that what I'm expecting?
God's word thunders into my heart, exposing my motives and discerning my motives. God's word exposed Eve's desires. She wanted wisdom but abandoned God's wisdom. Ahab only wanted to hear what fitted with his pre-existing plans. A random arrow in the universe held together by the word of God humiliated him and left him dead. What does the Spirit's sword find in my heart? Too often I come to it like any other book. Too often I don't expect to be cut to the heart. Too often I come to comprehend. Too often I saunter into the sound of his voice without a second thought to what on earth I'm doing. That wont do. When God speaks universes get created, that is not a voice I can oppose and win. The One who speaks in such a way is not one I want to be ashamed before.