Sunday, March 2, 2008

A Common Language

One of the amazing wonders of this world is that the Creator of it all desired to communicate with His creatures.
God could have finished His creation , and gone on to other things leaving His creation to fend for itself. He could have stepped back and simply watched man struggle to survive.
But no....God wanted to communicate with man, God desired to teach man to know Him !
"But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me." (Jer.9:24)

John Milton Gregory, first president of the University of Illinois , in his 1864 book “The Seven Laws of Teaching” said, “The language used as a medium between teacher and learner must be common to both.”

What a simplistic statement – of course if I am to learn anything from a teacher I need to be able to speak the same language!

Did you ever stop to consider that God and man do not naturally share a common language?

"But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." (I Cor.2:14)

Natural man cannot understand God.
So the only way God could communticate with man was to create a common language between them so that man would be able to grasp the lofty things concerning God and His spiritual realm.
In His wisdom and love He ‘wrote’ a language specifically designed for this purpose.

What was this language that transcends time and the limitation of man’s intellectual ability to understand things that are unknown ?
It is the language of parables --- a language built on “it is like”. This language allows God to speak of the invisible , unknown things of God’s kingdom by comparing them to the things all men know and understand.

The biggest ‘parable’ God wrote is His creation. It is His picture book that peoples of all nations can ‘read’.
"For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse." (Rom.1:20)

Even after men have 'read' what God has written in creation...and they open His Book to read His written word... God still speaks in parables... through stories... saying "it is like..."
"Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in a parable."

And when Jesus came He spoke as He heard His Father speak….
"And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying..." (Matt.13:3)
"All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them. That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world." (Matt. 13:34,35)

How often Jesus began His teaching with the words..…””It is like this…” explaining the unknown by comparing it to what is known and familiar to man.

A common language between us… did you ever stop to consider how precious that is ? If God ever spoke to us on His level of intelligence ….we would not understand a word He said.

I once wanted to demonstrate to a woman’s group I was speaking to how important it is that God ‘dumbed down’ His divine level of intelligence to be able to communicate with us.

To illustrate my point, I put together an English sentence…
“Scintillate, scintillate, diminutive superlative body, with speculative impetus I vacillate contemplating your definite composition.”

The sentence contains only English words yet the meaning does not easily transfer from speaker to listener, does it. Not one woman could tell me what I had said.

When I told them I had merely said “Twinkle, twinkle little star , how I wonder what you are”, they laughed in disbelief.

I think that it is a wonderful evidence of how much God loves us – that He would make sure that He could communicate His truths to our minds and hearts in such a way that we would understand.

How carefully should we observe His parables… and study them diligently to understand the spiritual Truths they are meant to teach us !!


Vicki said...

Whew! I am so thankful that God speaks to each of us at our level of understanding, and when we listen with our hearts, we really get it!

Lovella said...

Oh I am so thankful that he cares enough to help us understand. It really is beyond my comprehension but I'm thankful all the same.

Anonymous said...

God did not have to do this for us but He did out of His great love. Do I show some of this same kind of love to those around me by making my life lived for Jesus simple to understand? Is my life an invitation by example for my neighbour to 'try God'. If we understand Him through His examples can we too help someone through ours? How great is our God! As I begin to understand Him I can pass it on. Thanks for the encouragement. Kathy

Demara said...

I love parables and the art of "dumbing down". I don't know why people don't do it more often! It would enable unity among believers and others.