by Tim Hall
Is it possible for us to communicate with God?
Telephone calls are a regular part of the work day. Without thinking I pick up the ringing phone, and communication begins almost instantly. It matters not whether the person on the other end of the line is next door or across the continent. Our voices are conveyed as speedily as if we were face to face.
A recent call, however, was markedly different. I never heard the voice of the person who initiated the call. She is deaf, I learned through the operator who facilitated the call. Though she might be able to produce intelligible sounds, she would not be able to hear my reply. To make her call possible she relied on a mediator. The link that was broken by her inability to hear was reconnected by the operator.
Job wasn’t deaf, but he felt disconnected from God. For years he had served his Lord faithfully, but trials were now about to crush him. Making matters worse was what seemed to be a breakdown in communication. Here is how Job described his feelings: “For [God] is not a man, as I am, that I might answer him, and that we should go to court together. Nor is there any mediator between us, who may lay his hand on us both” (Job 9:32,33, NKJV). What does one do when he can’t communicate with the only source of help available?
We know the feeling. We’ve brought it upon ourselves by our own stubbornness and rebellion against God’s will. Isaiah stated the case clearly: “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor his ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear” (Isaiah 59:1,2).
We broke our link with God. Though we cry out to him for help, he will not hear us because of those sins on our accounts. Are we doomed forever, without any hope of reconnection?
Paul responded to Job’s despair over having no mediator: “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5). That is certainly the best news the world has ever heard.
In our sinful condition we could not approach God directly to ask for his mercy and help. Through Jesus, our mediator, we have that opportunity. Just as the operator enabled the deaf woman to communicate with me, so Jesus enables us to approach God. And don’t miss Paul’s main point in that statement: there is only one mediator between God and men.
How we need Jesus! A person who awakens to find their house on fire depends on a live telephone connection to call for the help needed. Those who find their souls in jeopardy from sin depend on the living connection Jesus established. May we do all we can to maintain that connection with our Lord!
by Tim Hall