But how can people call on him if they have not believed in him? How can they believe in him if they have not heard his message? How can they hear if no one tells ⌊the Good News⌋? How can people tell the Good News if no one sends them? As Scripture says, “How beautiful are the feet of the messengers who announce the Good News.”
But not everyone has believed the Good News. Isaiah asks, “Lord, who has believed our message?” So faith comes from hearing the message, and the message that is heard is what Christ spoke. But I ask, “Didn’t they hear that message?” Certainly they did! “The voice of the messengers has gone out into the whole world and their words to the ends of the earth.”
Again I ask, “Didn’t Israel understand ⌊that message⌋?” Moses was the first to say, “I will make you jealous of people who are not a nation. I will make you angry about a nation that doesn’t understand.” Isaiah said very boldly, “I was found by those who weren’t looking for me. I was revealed to those who weren’t asking for me.”
Then Isaiah said about Israel, “All day long I have stretched out my hands to disobedient and rebellious people.” (Romans 10:12-21 (GW)
You've probably heard the sentiment credited to Francis of Assisi—Preach the gospel, and if necessary, use words. But the apostle Paul, who predates Francis, makes it clear that words are necessary for speaking the message of the gospel.
So, why is this saying so popular? Francis of Assisi is a beloved figure and a man with a humble heart. But this expression is only attributed to him, it is not certain that he said it. Perhaps more to the point, it's popular because it somehow relieves us from having to intentionally share the gospel message.
Yes, our example is important, and hopefully our life is a testimony to others. But these verses speak a lot about hearing not seeing, and of using words and a voice.
But how can people call on him if they have not believed in him? How can they believe in him if they have not heard his message? How can they hear if no one tells ⌊the Good News⌋?
God says the messengers who announce the Good News have beautiful feet. An illusion to their freedom and their intentional purpose.
Words are important for communicating the gospel clearly, and our life needs to match the message we share. ©Word-Strong_2016