Monday, February 20, 2012

The Voice of God

“So he said, ‘ I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.’” Genesis 3:10

The entrance of sin into the world changed the relationship between God and His creatures. Whereas formerly, they looked forward to fellowship with God, now the sound of His voice struck fear of judgment into their hearts. They knew they were guilty of breaking His commands. When Adam says, ‘heard’, it’s an idiom for obeyed, which is something he did not do.

“And Pharaoh said, ‘Who is the LORD, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, nor will I let Israel go.’” Exodus 5:2

The voice of the LORD through Moses and Aaron represented His message. Because He is the Lord of heaven and earth is reason enough to obey His voice.

“...and after the earthquake, a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.” 1 Kings 19:12

God often speaks in an unexpected way. The wind, earthquake and fire did not cause Elijah to cover his face in fear, but the still small voice did. Matthew Henry says, “Gracious souls are more affected by the tender mercies of the Lord, than by His terrors.”

“Have you an arm like God? Or can you thunder with a voice like His?” Job 40:9

Here his voice represents His power. Job didn’t yield when his friends reasoned with him, but the voice of the LORD is powerful.

“...Today if you will hear His voice: Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion...” Psalm 95:7b,8a

An entreaty. This day of opportunity will not last forever. The sins of others ought to be warnings to us. We must be His willing, obedient people.

“Let me see your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.” Song of Solomon 2:14b

When we are in a loving relationship, the voice of our beloved is a delight to hear. This verse is attributed to the bridegroom, and he is expressing his joy at his lover’s voice and face. Likewise, we can approach the lover of our souls boldly through prayer. We don’t need to fear to approach Him. We feel safe in his company.

“Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in their graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.” John 5:28,29

We first hear His voice and wake from spiritual death. At the Resurrection, His voice will wake us from physical death. As God, His voice wakes the dead. All judgment has been committed to the Son.

“And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him; for they do not know the voice of strangers.” John 10:4,5

When we hear His familiar voice, we trust and follow Him. By recognizing the voice of the One we trust, we know how to avoid false teachers.

“And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear my voice; and there will be one fold and one shepherd.” John 10:16

All followers of Christ; both Jews and Gentiles, follow His voice. He unites us. The Lord knows His followers, and they are sure of Him.

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” John 10:26

His voice calls us effectually. Claiming oneness with the Father, He can affirm His ability to keep us eternally.

“Then a voice came from Heaven saying, ‘ I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again’”...”Jesus answered and said, ‘The voice did not become because of Me, but for your sake.’” John 12:28, 30

The Father speaks from Heaven three times in the gospels: at Jesus baptism, at the transfiguration, and here. It is for the benefit of the disciples. His voice and His words reassure us and strengthen our faith. The Father places His seal of approval on Jesus’ work.

“...Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” John 18:37b

We respond to His voice in salvation, and continue to obey His voice in our Christian walk.

“Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door I will come into him and dine with him and he with Me.” Rev. 3:20

If we are the Elect, we will respond to the gospel call. It will be sweet to our ears. We will see our own sin, agree with God’s righteous judgment against us, see the beauty of Christ and flee to Him for safety. He promises to indwell us. The idea of dining together implies intimate, fulfilling fellowship.

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