The Consequences of a Voice
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The Consequences of a Voice
Every decision in life is followed by a consequence. Some people view the word consequence with a negative connotation. However, sometimes a consequence can have a positive effect as well. Some consequences help to convict us or let us learn so that we can improve our character. However, I think that the best consequences are a result from doing the right thing and acting in complete obedience to the Lord. Though some of such consequences may seem like they are negative, the Lord makes them positive for his glory. He takes just regular average day people, sometimes broken people and uses them for great things for his glory.
Amos was just a regular guy with a humble job. He was a herder. However, God called Amos out to speak His will and to deliver His message to Israel. At this time there are two kingdoms among the tribes. There is the kingdom of Judah to the south and then the rest of Israel to the North. Jeroboam was king of the Northern Kingdom. Rather than let the people travel back to Jerusalem for worship in fear that he would lose his people to Judah, Jeroboam created his own temple and idles for the people to worship therefore leading them astray. God shows Amos a vision of a plumb line. A plumb line was used to make sure a structure was centered and built straight vertically. It was as simple and a weight at the end of a string. God is telling Amos that the people are no longer centered on him so he is going to destroy everything that is not plumb to himself meaning not centered on the Lord which at this point is pretty much everything and everyone in Jeroboam’s kingdom.
Amos speaks these words as the Lord had commanded him and the priest of bethel sent word to Jeroboam that Amos was raising a conspiracy against him. Amaziah was the priest at bethel which is the high place that Jeroboam built up for the people to go to worship. Amaziah was not a priest of the Lord but a priest of idles leading the people astray. Amaziah tells Amos to get out of there and go back to the land of Judah. He said, “don’t prophesy anymore at Bethel, because this is the king’s sanctuary (notice not the Lord’s sanctuary) and the temple of the kingdom. Amos explains that he is not a prophet nor the son of a prophet. He was just a shepherd herding his sheep and also, he took care of sycamore fig trees. He was no one of special importance. However, God called him out to prophesy anyway to the people of Israel, warning them of what is to come. The Lord gave Amos a voice to speak and Amos obeyed therefore bringing attention towards him and setting the kingdom against him.
John the Baptist was such a man who was given a voice. He was a bit of a trouble maker in the eyes of the Sanhedrin and in the eyes of the king. John’s voice brought him dire consequences. He had often been thrown into jail for speaking out against sin. In Mark 6:14-29, John’s voice has a final consequence that leads him to prison and then to his death. John calls out the sin of Herod for marrying his brother’s wife. Herodias held a grudge against John for speaking out like this and wanted to kill him. His voice was so strong that it brought him the consequence of death. Herodias couldn’t just have John killed so she had to use her daughter to trick Herod into doing so. Her daughter danced before the king therefore pleasing him so that he gave her any request. Her request was therefore to have John executed. Though this voice may seem like a negative consequence it still brings glory to the Lord as we retell the story thousands of years later. John may have lost his life but yet found his life with the Lord in His kingdom.
The Apostle Paul was given a voice and by using it he was put in prison. However, his voice did not stop there. His voice just took a new shape in the form of a pen and scroll. He wrote letters to the churches in which he planted therefore writing the majority of our New Testament. To the Ephesians Paul write about the spiritual blessing we receive in Christ. The Blessings of a voice. Through the consequence of his voice Paul is able to finally slow down and write everything that the Lord had taught him so that we can here his voice even today.
All throughout scripture God has given his chosen a voice to use and each time they use this voice there is a consequence for using it. Some consequences seem good and others seem bad. However, all of the consequences are for the glory of God. Jeremiah was given a voice and he wanted to be silent as he faced many hardships for using his voice. However, the words were like fire shooting up from his very bones just burning to get out. Jonah was given a voice and he tried to run away from using it but God stopped his running and led him to use his voice. By doing so the city of Nineveh repented of their sins and were saved from destruction.
Jesus was literally the voice of God and by so using his he was led to the cross. However, if it were not for the consequences of his voice we would still be dying in our sin. The consequence of Jesus’ voice was the salvation of the world from sin. From a worldly view it would seem like Jesus’ voice had negative consequences. However, from a heavenly view point it was nothing but positive for it brought glory to God and restored the broken relationship between God and his creation.
There are still many in our world today facing the consequences of their voices. Some use their voice for the glory of God and therefore will receive a great reward. However, there are others who use their voice for the glory of the world and for the glory of Satan. Such people are facing the consequence of perishing forever. It seems as we grow closer to Jesus’ return the voice of the world and of Satan continues to grow more aggressive. This is all the more reason for us to use the voice given us by the Holy Spirit to save as much of the perishing as we can. As the voice of the world becomes more aggressive so do the consequences of using the voice of the spirit become more aggressive as well. However, in my opinion these consequences of a voice that comes from God are far better than the consequences of remaining silent. Which voice will you choose to listen to and which voice will you choose to use?