Failure to Communicate

The 1967 movie, Cool Hand Luke, immortalized the line, “what we have here is failure to communicate.”   We have all experienced the devastating effects of “failure to communicate.”  Communication is the life-blood of all relationships.  Without effective communication, two remain two, rather than becoming one.  One person may have love, admiration, respect, gratitude and compassion toward another, but when these remain unexpressed it is as if they don’t exist, or worse – the opposites are implied.   Silence imputes motives and imputed motives are rarely positive.  More often than not the motives we impute are animated by suspicion, insecurity and criticism.  And the more intimate the relationship, the more profound and intense are the effects.

This is seen most vividly when there is a failure to communicate with God.   While it is fashionable these days to claim atheism, most who adopt this label are really agnostics.  The agnostic does not reject the possibility of God’s existence, but holds that such a God, if He exists, cannot be known.  He is mute.   And a mute God is a dangerous God.   For if we have no way to know whether He is friend or foe or to what extent He holds sway over our lives, we can never rest.   The “what ifs” that grow out of our imputed motives for this God make us suspicious and fearful.  Like pagans, whose gods of wood and stone had mouths but could not speak and ears but could not hear, we construct fearful rituals to placate the expected anger of a unknown God.

If only we could hear from Him and know what kind of God He is.  As the ancient sufferer, Job, once said, “If only there were someone to mediate between us, someone to bring us together.” (Job 9:33)  Yet the consistent refrain of the Bible is that God has spoken.  He is not silent.  He is a God who reveals himself and does not hide away in obscurity or concealment.   The Psalmist declares

God the Lord, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting…. Our God comes; he does not keep silence.  Psalm 50:1, 3

Later it is written

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.  Hebrews 1:1-2

The God of the Bible is not mute.  He has revealed Himself in many ways in the past and now, most clearly, through His Word.  From the beginning of history until this very day, God has not failed to communicate.  We see this in the life of Joseph during his enslavement in Egypt.  Though separated from homeland and family, God was with Him and spoke to him and through him to rescue the men of his times from famine and death and to point to a Greater Joseph who would come to save men from spiritual famine and eternal death.

Join us this Lord’s Day, April 22, as we examine the story of Joseph from Genesis 40 and consider how and why God reveals Himself to men.  We meet from 5:00 – 6:30 pm in The Commons at St. Andrews Anglican Church at 8300 Kanis Rd in Little Rock.  Click here for directions.  Come with a friend you and join us for fellowship and conversation. We look forward to seeing you there.