Once upon a time, Mr. Alexander Graham Bell (whom we shall call God for short) picked up a telephone and spoke over it to his assistant, Mr. Thomas Watson. Did Mr. Watson hear the famous words ring out, “Mr. Watson—Come here—I want to see you”?
He did not.
In fact he heard nothing. Perhaps a little static.
God tried the second time. What did He say? We will never know. Neither will Mr. Watson. He did not hear what God said the second time, nor the third time, nor yet the fourth time. He heard only the words that worked at last (the who-knows-how-many-nth time) when at last both ends of the telephone and every bit of the line between were finally in synch, and recorders of history set down for all time the utterly insignificant message, “Mr. Watson—Come here—I want to see you.”
God speaks. No doubt about it. And since He is the perfect speaker, we tend to assume that when He speaks, there can be no second opinion on the matter. This is true, with one caveat: I am not a perfect receiver.
Mr. Bell’s half of the conversational attempt may have been flawless; this did not help Mr. Watson. In fact, I suspect there are plenty of unrecorded stories from the interval in which the invention was almost working, the interval in which Mr. Bell said with perfect clarity, “Mr. Watson—Come here—I want to see you” and Mr. Watson was certain he heard, “Masser Dobson—Shtay there—I’m going to shoot you.”
God speaks perfectly. No doubt about it.
His words should always be received with humility.