I grew up, like most church people my age used to, reading and hearing the King James Version of the Bible. It was full of “thees”, and “thous”, “thuses”, “thines”. It all made for quite a confusing experience. I was told that the Bible was God’s letter to us, only I apparently didn’t speak God’s language. Obviously, God spoke early English. It wasn’t until my late childhood that I realized God did indeed speak my language. It was then that I was given a copy of the “New American Standard” version of the scriptures. Finally! I could both read and understand what the Bible was saying.
During the 1980s and 1990s, the Bible market was flooded with newer versions of the scriptures. You had the NIV or New International Version, Amplified Version (for the hard of hearing. I’m kidding. That’s not for the hearing impaired at all.), Contemporary English Version, The Living Bible, Revised Standard Version, New Revised Standard Version, and The Even Newer Revised Standard Version (I’m kidding about that one, too)
The latest, most popular version came out in 2002, and is called simply, “The Message”, but the list is crazy long. I am not about to step into which version is the best or closest to the original language. People of faith will pick up rocks to throw over that one. (Even though, in every version rock throwing is expressly frowned upon.)
My point is, that God speaks our language. Whatever that language is. Mine happens to be Southern English. Did you know God speaks Southern English? He does. But that’s not all. I got caught up one day watching a series of shows on the History Channel called Swamp People. It’s a show about the people who live and make their living in the Louisiana swamps. I’m not quite sure how this show made it to the History Channel, but there it was. These are American folks, but they don’t speak the English I speak. They speak Cajun. Their speech is so garbled up, that the producers of Swamp People include subtitles so that what the folks are saying can be understood. God speaks that garbled up mess, too.
No matter where you are from, what language you speak, God speaks right to your heart. He speaks your language. We still get caught up in knowing for sure if the voice we hear is the Lord’s. We ask, “How can I know for sure? I really want to hear from God.” It’s true that sometimes God is silent, but even in His silence He speaks to us. When He decides to really speak to us, though, we can hear Him loud and clear… if we listen. That’s our problem. Well, that’s my problem. Sometimes I talk so much; He can’t get a word in edgewise. And even if He could, I wouldn’t hear it.
Sometimes we just have to hush. We have to stop bending God’s ear, and let Him bend ours. The Bible never tells us that we can’t hear God’s voice. Actually, it tells us we can if we listen. The Bible compares us to sheep. All sheep are dumb, but even they can hear and know their Shepherd’s voice. (John 10:27) We don’t have to be some great Bible scholar to hear God’s voice. We just have to be like a dumb sheep and listen for it.
I particularly like it when He says, “Y’all”.
Now that was just for fun… Did y’all like it?