“Hello! I’m talking to you. Are you listening?”
Have you ever heard someone trying to establish communication with you, building a relationship? Maybe it was your father, mother, a teacher, a boss. How about if God is speaking? Even though God spoke and we can read the results in the Bible, even though people have been writing about what they read for thousands of years, the Bible has not been exhausted. God still speaks.
It all depends on Who you are and What you are looking for
I was so surprised when our friend, Jay, wrote a book to explain what the Bible says about inflation. The topic had never come up in my reading of the Word or in any commentaries I knew of. But he is an expert at economics and his Bible study together with knowledge of history and contemporary policy came together in a provocative book. He showed me that if we look for what we already believe and have been taught, we will tend to see the same things we have seen before. But God is bigger than all the commentators of history put together. “Your God is too small.” We need fresh hearts and new eyes.
I learned biblical Greek and Hebrew in the 60’s and 70’s but had seldom put them to use. Then in the mid 90’s the Lord challenged me by giving me an experience one Sunday, where He showed me his emotions in the Garden of Gethsemane, when Judas betrayed him with a kiss. John’s Gospel says that Satan had entered Judas Iscariot at dinner, so when the man approached that night, Jesus felt “deja vu.” In heaven Lucifer had been the covering cherub, intimately close to the Son of God on his throne. Sometime in heaven Lucifer betrayed Jesus’ love and confidence and stole away a third of the heavenly host to become Satan, Lord of Darkness. Here on earth Jesus felt similarly to how he had felt in heaven.
I was overwhelmed that Jesus should share his feelings with mere me. But as I asked why, I grasped that for Jesus heaven is home, is normal, is how he wants earth to look. By going back to the Bible to see what normal in heaven looks like, I realized I had to turn my traditional interpretation viewpoint upside down. Instead of seeing images of stones, fire, water, lightning and so forth as reflections of human, earthly experiences I decided it should be the other way around. The stones, fire, water, lightning, etc. were words describing real reality that God has recreated here on earth to make Himself feel at home. The simple Hebrew root words, being so picturesque and not abstract, helped me visualize God’s take on His universe. Words have taken on a new significance, straining my imagination to keep up with what God has been saying.
Lord, open the eyes of our hearts
Sometimes I get fresh glimpses of God and His Word. I am Martin Van Horn, graduate of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, church planter in Connecticut and Austria, now living in Louisville, Kentucky. Together with my wife, Sharon Van Horn, and our longtime friend, Mary Thompson, we share what we are learning on site and on websites. Besides WhenHeSpeaks you can check out www.lifeconnectionsinternational.org and www.MightyInSpirit.com.
You are also welcome to read the results of my heaven research that I wrote as Letters from Home: heaven imagined and reported. On this website you will read the results of fresh insights into God’s Word and reflections on the world we live in. Hopefully things I find fresh and new will be an encouragement to you as well. After all, we keep praying, “Heavenly Father, Your will be done; Your Kingdom come, here on earth just like in Heaven.” Amen!