HEARING THE VOICE OF GOD – Does GOD Speak Today? Part 1
by Pastor Jerry
Is it a requirement for a Christian to hear the voice of GOD, or is it an option? Is Christianity a code of conduct, a lifestyle, or simply doing good or is it about love OR is it a relationship with the true and living GOD? Though there are components of each of these in our relationship with GOD, it is not the essence/foundation.
Can you have a relationship with someone without communication, without talking and listening to that person? Can you for example have a relationship with your wife without talking and listening to her? If Christianity is based on a relationship with GOD, it must involve talking and listening – there must be communication.
Theologians divide bible history into seven dispensations. We will look at whether and how God spoke during these dispensations: Is there a constant during all these periods?
Adamic – Genesis 3:8 says the man (Adam) and his wife (Eve) heard the voice of God.
Conscience – Genesis 6:13, Noah heard the voice of God. God said to Noah, the end of all flesh has come before me, build an ark, and He gave Noah specific measurements. After the flood, God spoke to Noah and gave the promise of the rainbow and said He will not punish the world again with flood. Thank God, Noah heard the voice of God and the then world was saved.
Human Government – Genesis 11:1 says, Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. Men wanted to build themselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that they may make a name for themselves (Genesis 11:4) This ultimately resulted in chaos and the dispersion of the people and they began to speak in different languages. That is why it was called Babel — because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth (Genesis 11:9). At that time, nobody heard the voice of God. Man ran things his own way. Whenever men have their own way, we see the result is chaos and dispersion!
What happens when we stop hearing or do not want to hear the voice of God? Problems, chaos, disaster – we see that throughout Israel’s history. After Malachi there was 400 years of silence. God did not speak. He promised He will send Elijah (Mal 4:5) and that was it, then silence for 400 years. What happened to Israel, the nation that God used to speak so regularly to? The kingdom that David and Solomon ruled and reigned over?
Captivity – in 333 BC, the Greeks conquered Israel and suddenly, Israel went into captivity. In 323 BC, the Egyptians took over the nation. In 204 BC, the Syrians ruled over them. In 63 BC, the Romans conquered Israel. They were constantly in captivity, where foreign powers ruled over them. They were not the head, but the tail. They had to follow and not lead. Because the voice of God was not heard. In our lives, I suggest it is the same when we do not hear the voice of GOD. We MUST listen to the voice of God.
Promise – after human government fell, the next dispensation was the Promise – from Abraham to Moses. God said to Abraham, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.” (Gen. 12:1) Hebrews 11:8-10 says by faith Abraham heard God’s call to travel to a place where he would one day receive an inheritance. He obeyed not knowing where God’s call would take him.
Because he obeyed the voice of God, God gave him a promise. “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” (Gen. 12:2-3)
Do you have that blessing? Galatians 3:29 says if you belong to Christ then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise. And all of God’s promises are yea and amen. That’s God’s plan and blessing for us!
Law – Next we come to Moses and the period of the Law. Exodus 3:4 records that when the Lord saw Moses coming closer, He called to Moses from the middle of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses.” Moses heard the voice of God. Throughout scripture, it is clear that Moses heard God’s voice. But before you think God only speaks to Moses and the rest of the people are not required to hear the voice of God, let’s look at
Deuteronomy 28:1-2 “And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God.”
Again, the requirement is to obey the voice of God. Note that the word is faithfully obey, that means we don’t choose what and how long we want to obey or not obey. We faithfully obey the voice of the Lord our God. Then the Lord will set you high. God will make you the head and not the tail. That’s what happens when we faithfully obey the voice of God.
Now if you cannot hear the voice of God, how can you faithfully obey the voice of God? You have to be able to hear the voice of God first. The word doesn’t just say these blessings will come upon you. It says these blessings will also overtake you. It has nothing to do with your effort, talent or connection in a particular area but is to do with you faithfully obeying the voice of God and then letting God do His thing. This is God’s promise. And God is faithful to do all that He has promised to you!
But what if we do not hear the voice of God nor do we listen to what God is saying to us? What will happen? Will we still enjoy the blessings? Will it be the converse of GOD’s promises?
The concluding part of this message will be in the next issue of the Bulletin.