Mr. Standfast

"Nothing taken for granted; everything received with gratitude; everything passed on with grace." G. K. Chesterton

August 10, 2004

Sanctified Communication

Still thinking about communication.

At one point Jesus asked the Pharisees, "Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say."

Our receivers are busted. This is the normal condition of men in the world. We can't hear what we need to hear. It's sin that has done this, of course.

I sometimes wish that God has chosen to tell us a little more about Adam and Eve after their banishment from Eden. I imagine they didn't talk at all for some time. Bitterness and blame had entered into their relationship. Mistrust. It marred their relationship forever, perhaps.

Yes, mistrust. That seed had been planted by the serpent, who coaxed them both into mistrusting God himself. Once they began to doubt God, of course they would doubt each other.

But I often think of that moment, just before the banishment, when they're hiding from God. They've disobeyed him, and guilt is upon them, and they're fearful of what he might do if he should find them. But nothing and no one is hid from God, of course, and he calls them out. I often think that at this moment they still have an opportunity to make things right. Their banishment from Eden is not yet inevitable. But when God confronts them, they obfuscate. To explain why they were hiding, Adam says, "I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid."

In truth, he was afraid because he had disobeyed God. Fearing God's anger, he proceeds to blame Eve for the whole mess, and indirectly God--"the woman YOU gave me," he says.

What a shame. He might have forthrightly confessed his sin and asked for forgiveness, but the serpent's seed of mistrust had done its work. So instead he chooses to obfuscate, to mislead, to cast blame, to claim innocence.

And so it goes. Communication among the descendents of Adam, even to this day, remains of a type with this last conversation between Adam and God in the garden, before the Fall.

Except, when the Spirit brings new life. It is possible to speak truth. God has not left us helpless. Of Samuel the Bible says, "None of his words fell to the ground." Samuel was capable of sanctified communication. The God who saves us, who is saving us, makes this possible. In fact, He calls us to this.

Sanctified communication. Hmmm. I'm going to think about this some more. Back soon!


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