…and the LORD said to me, `Enough! Speak to Me no more of this matter. (Deut. 3:26)
When my daughter (now 26) was young, she negotiated everything. I was consistent with her, but that never deterred her from the theory that if you haven’t as yet received the answer you want, just keep repeating the question. She went many steps further to obtain the answer she desired. At age 9 she learned what a “perm” was and she developed a strong desire to have her hair curled. She asked her mom first, who sent her to me. When I learned the price of a perm, I said no, and the game was on. I woke up the next morning and found a list by my coffee cup entitled “Ten Reasons Sarah Should Get a Perm”. I held firm and still said no. The next morning the same list again appear only the lower portion was now entitled “Ten Reasons Sarah Should NOT Get a Perm”. Below that title were the numbers 1-10, but no reasons. I was supposed to logically deduce that if there were 10 stated reasons for and none against, I should relent. I did not, but suffered through weeks of pleading and similar lists. I still kid her about it, but acknowledge that many times I have used the same approach to convince God to change His answer even when I clearly understand that He has said, No!
In today’s verse, God rebukes the continuous pleading of Moses to allow him to lead the Israelites across the Jordan into the Promised Land. This is a case where the eternal Father reacts as all fathers must from time to time, declaring that He has offered His final answered and really means it this time saying — and the LORD said to me, `Enough! Speak to Me no more of this matter.
Most human fathers have occasionally yelled, Enough!
Often we need to continue in prayer for extended periods of time even when our request aligns with His holy will before God’s timing is fulfilled and He responds. Jesus instructed us to be faithful in continuing to seek God in prayer. After the parable of the unjust judge in Luke 18, He said — And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? But sometimes God simply says no.
Moses knew exactly why God had said no to him, but often we have no idea why God says no. We might say no to a request out of spite. God never does. We might say no because we don’t want to be troubled. God never does. Our no may emanate from a wide range of emotional responses from which it should not, but God’s no is delivered from the perspective of a loving Father, looking out for the greater interest of His child and His Kingdom. When God says no, we have to trust His perfect character. More importantly, we have to distinguish and discern His simple silence from a negative reply. If we see very silence from the Lord as a negative response, we’ll likely overlook His yes.
Are you returning to God’s, No! with a new “Ten Reasons You Should Give Me What I Want, God” list? Have you stopped listening for His, Yes, because you’ve mistaken His silence for His, No!?
And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!” (Luke 9:35 NKJV) Hearing begins with listening. Listening begins with an open mind. A mind opened to God’s response to prayer begins when we trust the Lord. Trust Jesus, open your mind and listen.
My sheep know my voice.