He put out his hand and took her, and drew her into the ark to himself (Genesis 8:9, NKJV). Do remember the story of Noah and how he sent out the dove to see if there was dry land? Worn out with her long flight, the dove returns to the ark as her only resting place. How heavily she flies! Will she drop into the waters? Will she ever reach the ark? But she struggles on.
Let me give you their message in a nutshell. It consists of judgment and salvation, of controversy and consolation, of condemnation and comfort. Every message of rebuke in the minor prophets comes with a promise of forgiveness. The mercy of God is the great theme in the writings of each of the minor prophets, just as it is in the New Testament and all the rest of Scripture. Because of our sins, judgment comes. But God intends it to turn our faces from this world to heaven, so we can find supreme good.
How can you hear God speaking directly and personally and intimately to you if… You have not turned from your sins and received Jesus Christ as Lord through believing He died on the cross to pay your sin punishment and was raised from the dead whereby you genuinely commit your life to God and His ways? You are not sealed with and filled with God’s Holy Spirit who lives inside His followers and leads us and empowers and equips us through our lives to love, worship, and live for God and to build, help, support, and encourage His Kingdom of followers? You do not spend time alone with God praying to Him, praising and worshiping Him, seeking and waiting on Him, and reading the Bible which is the number one way to hear from God and in line with which His Spirit speaks to our hearts?
Because God is the living God, He can hear; because He is a loving God, He will hear; because He is our covenant God, He has bound Himself to hear us. We can confidently call him “My God,” and we can be absolutely certain that, “My God will hear me.” So, when you are suffering, tell God about your sorrows! You can confidently say, “My God will hear me.” – Charles Spurgeon (adapted)
The people in Jesus’ time thought that only people of their “church” – the Jewish religion – would be saved. They thought that the grace of God was only for people like themselves. But Jesus told them that the people who thought they were in, were out and that the people who thought they were left out, were invited in!