The Gift of “Bath Kol”

(See Isaiah 30:15-21)

Pastors who have been forced out of their churches and have been traumatized by that situation find themselves struggling with loneliness and trust.  It is as if they have been chased from the presence of God and isolated as a flagpole on top of a hill for all to see.  In their hastened flight they fear that they left behind many valuable and needed things that they held dear to them.  In their confused isolation, self-doubt and panic it becomes difficult to trust their inner voice — the place where God spoke to them.

The certainty of the voice of the Master from the inner sanctuary is questioned.  “Am I making this up or is it the voice of God?”.  So much was immediately changed when the unexpected events led to the resignation or removal.  In their bewildered state each one cries out to hear the voice of God clearly again.   It is God alone that they serve and God alone that they love.  Yet, things got so out of control that many pastors believe that they themselves may have caused the situation and now God is displeased with them.  In his displeasure he no longer will honor them with his voice.

Yet this kind of thinking is the furthest from the truth.  In Isaiah 30:18 the Lord reveals himself to pastors who have endured the onslaught of the enemy.  Here he says, “Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion.  For the LORD is a God of justice.  Blessed are all who wait for him!”  The fact is that he is anxiously moving toward the hurting shepherd to be gracious, compassionate and to reestablished justice.

In his loving care he leans an attentive ear to the cry of his wounded saints.  As soon as he hears he will be quick to answer. (See Isaiah 30:19-20).  How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you. Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them.  No matter how it may feel you are at the top of his agenda.  He will not leave you alone nor abandon you because you are very important to him.  You are so important that he is going to give you a very special gift.  It is the gift of “Bath Kol”.

You will not be left alone without spiritual guides or directors.  They may not be the ones that you relied upon before, but God will open your eyes to spiritual counselors and advisers that will lead you through the time of troubled waters.  It will amaze you who these people will be and where God’s voice will come from.  The Lord may speak to in the strangest ways and from the oddest of people.  The place where he often spoke to you before may be silent.  Your Urim and Thummin may not work but the voice of God will not depart from you.

In its place the “Bath Kol” will be offered to you.  The “Bath Kol” is the voice from behind.  It is called “the daughter of the voice” that is given to his believers to keep them on the path that he is designed for them.  If at any time one is inclined to leave the path you will hear a voice from behind saying, “This is the way walk in it”.  It is the precious and immediate voice of guidance.  Such admonition may come from Providence, your conscience, or directly from Holy Spirit.  Or, it can come from some invisible influence, or from some unexpected place.  As is often the case God chooses to reveal himself in the place you least expect and from sources where you are not looking.  But you can be certain that your God will direct you in the way that you ought to go.  It is his promise.