Do you ever think about God’s voice? It’s one of those things in life that, when I start to think about it and dwell on it, as we say in Northern Ireland ‘It does my head in!’ (I just can’t get my head around it) On the one hand the voice of God is the most power-filled force we could ever imagine, God’s voice is so powerful that he spoke everything we know into existence. And on the other hand, his voice is so gentle; he speaks to his children with the greatest tenderness (Hosea 2:14) and even chides us as a loving Father and Shepherd, with that same all powerful voice that spoke the world into being. His voice is on the One hand described as thunderous, majestic, powerful and mighty (Psalm 68:33, Psalm 46:6, Psalm 29:3-5, 7-9, and on the other hand as a ‘low whisper’ or, if you prefer the King James Version ‘a still small voice’.
“And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper.”
1 Kings 19:12 ESV
There is no other voice like the voice of God, that we can be sure of!
It would be lovely, and so much easier, if God always spoke to us in an audible voice. But he doesn’t. It’s more often (for me anyway) that still, small voice. And in all the noise and busyness of modern day life, we could so easily miss his voice.
I hear some Christians say ‘God never speaks to me’, and yet it says in John 10 ‘My sheep hear my voice’. So does he only talk to some people and not to others? No, I don’t believe that for a second. If you are his sheep, you do know his voice. You may have forgotten what it sounds like. But you do, inherently know it. Our neighbour has sheep. I watch sometimes as he walks down the road to the field; he starts whistling a special way, before he even gets there, and the sheep instantly start moving towards the gate, to wait for him. Once, when my husband and I were out for a walk, I thought that just for fun I would try out that same whistling and see if the sheep would respond. They responded alright – they went as far away, to the other end of the field as they could! They didn’t know my voice.
Observations have been carried out on premature babies, lying for weeks in incubators in often crowded nurseries. It was observed that on many occasions a baby would be crying or just not settling; then the mother would walk in and the baby would instantly become more settled, even stop crying, at the sound of her voice. That tiny baby was able to distinguish her mother’s voice from all the others in that crowded room and peace felt restored to her tiny world.
If you were in a crowded room today, you could pick out a close family member or friend’s voice in the crowd.
We can know God’s voice. But some forget that they know it and don’t hear him because of the ‘noise of the crowd’ – the hectic pace of life.
If I was asked to pick out the voice of someone I had just met a few minutes ago; a stranger or a ‘nodding acquaintance’ in that same crowded room, I would find it very difficult.
If God is just an acquaintance to us, then we’re not going to hear his voice very well. He has to be far more than that. We need to draw near to him and walk in close relationship with him. He loves to draw us closer to himself and to make himself known to us. In James 4:8 it says ‘draw near to him and he will draw near to you…’ “
Psalms 73:23-24 & 28: “Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory.”
“But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.”
Jill McIlreavy 💜