The echo caught us off guard. First it silenced us in the midst of our casual conversation, wondering what had happened, and then it motivated us to repeat what we said even louder in order to hear it again and again.
It was our last few days in Ecuador and our team was delighted to have a day of sightseeing and shopping after a week of intense missionary work.
This echo occurred as we crossed a large area to the little stores and shops. Unbeknownst to us, we had walked right in the middle of an outside amphitheater and our joyful conversation became known to all those around with listening ears.
What is it that makes humans love the sound of repetition? And why is it that we respond so quickly to an echo? It would seem that repetition of any kind would bring boredom, irritation and frustration. Yet, we enjoy hearing repetition when we listen to music, responding with bobbing heads and tapping feet. Even though the beat is the same, we don’t mind the repetitiveness.
We all seem to enjoy hearing the sounds of all the different types of water, even though there is redundancy to it. Whether we hear the loud roaring waves on a sandy beach or the splashes of a man-made waterfall in a outdoor park, the relaxing sounds of water soothe us and make us unwind, bringing us to places of refreshing rest and peace in our minds and souls.
Regardless of the types of echoes we enjoy, there are two parts to an echo, the sound giver and the sound receiver. This clearly defines the relationship between two parties.
In scripture, we see this repetition and echo in various ways. These are holy echoes from God’s throne.
We see it in warning and judgment.
We see it at a call to come and follow Christ.
We see it as a model to worship.
In the areas of warning and judgment, we see in the Old Testament that it usually comes through a prophet speaking warning to God’s called. Jeremiah had a message of repentance for the Jewish leaders in charge of God’s people. “Woe to those shepherds that scatter the sheep of My pasture says the Lord.” Other prophets had the same focus: echoing the warnings to God’s people for the purpose of turning from evil, injustice and corruption and representing God’s goals and purpose falsely.
When studying all the prophets and those they were called to speak to, we see that the majority did not respond to that echo. The sound of change did not cause them to turn and echo the same thing back. Therefore, the judgment of God followed because of their disobedience.
In the New Testament, see Jesus constantly and consistently calling others to come and follow Him; serving Jesus by yielding to Him as Lord and master over all.
Regardless of whether it was someone yet to know Jesus, such as the Samaritan women at the well, or someone that knew and stood by Him closely, the goal was the same, to come to Jesus and follow Him. When Jesus appears to his disciples on the shore, giving directives to the fisherman and then making them all breakfast, one of His goals was seeking a response to an echo in Peter’s life. Peter, in the midst of his guilt and shame at denying Christ three times, wasn’t listening. It was only this persistence by Jesus that broke Peter to a point of responding to the echo and completely submitting and following Christ on His terms.
It was clear that this holy echo became a holy call. Peter denied Jesus three times, yet Christ came back to him echoing, “Will you feed my sheep?” and Peter finally responded by agreeing to do just that… feed and care for God’s people.
One of the most awestruck and glorious times of echo that we see in scripture are the angels that spend their time 24/7 in praise and adoration to God. Singing “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God almighty who was and is and is to come.” Declaring praise and worship to God was the angels’ call, commission and professional job; to go before the throne in continual ongoing praise and worship. The echoes the angels proclaim are echoes that we can join in modeling their perfect example in our response to God. Proclaim attributes of God: His purity, perfection, sacredness, and divineness. These angels never ran out of praises to proclaim to God.
Which category do you fit into?
Which area are you sensing a respond to echo?
Is it warning and judgment; a call to come and follow Christ; or a model to worship God?
In what ways do you believe that the Lord is echoing to you?
What thing(s) do you think you have done to make dull the holy echo of God’s voice in your life?
In what ways are you echoing Jesus?
Are you dull to hearing His longing of praise echoes to Him?
As we are fast approaching July 4, Independence Day — would you make a commitment to yield to complete freedom to the Holy Spirit and His Holy Echoes? You can by seeking after spiritual freedom in Christ by responding to His holy echoes and to be faithful to echo back to Him.
Biblical text: Jeremiah 23:1; other prophets; John 21; Isaiah 6; Revelation 4:8
About the Author:
Simone Lake, a full-time minister and serves in multiple areas including Bible teacher, speaker, missionary, mentor, chaplain and author. She holds a master’s degree in theology and attends Church on Randall Place where she serves in various capacities alongside her husband, Pastor John Lake.
Read more about her work and coming events at: www.simonelake.com or www.simonelake.blogspot.com.