“And ye said, Behold,
the LORD our God hath showed us his glory and his greatness,
and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire:
we have seen this day that God doth talk with man, and he liveth.
Now therefore why should we die? for this great fire will consume us:
if we hear the voice of the Lord our God any more, then we shall die.
For who is there of all flesh, that hath heard the voice of the living
God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived?
Go thou near, and hear all that the Lord our God shall say:
and speak thou unto us all that the Lord our God shall speak unto thee;
and we will hear it, and do it.”
Deuteronomy 5:24 – 27
Though Israel saw the works of God in Egypt and at the Red Sea it is here that they first caught a glimpse of the fact that He speaks to men. This reveals the possibility of relationship. It is one thing to see the moving of His hand; it is quite another to hear Him speak and enter into the place of comprehending His WILL and PURPOSE. Relationship denotes responsibility and accountability. Religion does not mind acknowledging God, nor does it have a problem with even His miracles and His words if they are related to us from a book or someone else. But the thought of hearing His voice for ourselves brings us to the edge of reality. It brings us to the awful place of His fire, His presence, and into the place of knowing. Religion is like an anesthetic; it gives us enough understanding to make us feel comfortable, but leaves us in enough darkness that we do not have to face that penetrating light and feel the heat from the fire of His presence. For it is in knowing that we see to some degree our state and His glory. It is in hearing His voice that He communicates His Will and His purpose for our lives. This is a fearful place. It is a place that strips us from the comfort of the shadows of obscurity into the knowledge of the Holy One by the revelation of Himself in and by His living Word.
“Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.
and ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent,
him ye believe not. Search the scriptures;
for in them ye think ye have eternal life:
and they are they which testify of me.”
The Jews had a confidence in their knowledge of the scriptures, yet that knowledge instead of revealing the Christ, blinded them to the seeing of Him, “…for in them ye think ye have life…” Their confidence was in the knowledge of words rather than in the hearing of His voice. If they had heard His voice they would have seen Him and known Him. The voice of the Lord is ever speaking into the earth looking and longing for His creation to hear and come that it might know Him and be changed.
It is the voice of God that calls us to the true knowledge of Him and to the awful revelation of ourselves. It is the voice of God that calls us to separation and obedience. No wonder the desire to remain in the comfort of obscurity. But, it is also the voice that reveals the Lamb of God in all of His Grace and Glory. It is the voice that draws us away from our sin and our sickness unto Holiness, without which no man can see God. It calls us to the place of worship, to the place of fellowship with Him, to the place of the mount of God baptized with fire and glory and ultimately it brings us to the place of His divine purpose, Christ in you the full hope of Glory. His voice is for one purpose; to make us so one with Him that our life becomes His voice to others, our life becomes his provision to those He brings our way. When the people asked John the Baptist who he was he simply replied…“I am a voice of one crying out in the wilderness… ” They could not recognize him because they knew not the voice that spoke through him, and that voice was to prepare the way for the true Shepherd who was to follow. It’s in hearing His voice that we become an echo of the One who is, who was and who is to come; “for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy”. Let us not draw back in the hearing of His voice but as Elijah who upon hearing the “still small voice” wrapped himself in his mantle and presented himself to the Will and the Purposes of God.
How men and women in this day quickly trade away their true standing in God and seek out men who will speak to them in the stead of God! How sad it is that there is a professional “ministry” who would stand in the place of God so that the people can shirk their responsibility and sit in pews when they should be up and about doing the will of their Father. Where is that ministry which will confront this lethargy and speak with power and unction to cause people to recognize their birthright as “sons” and draw near to God with hearts that long to hear and obey the voice of the Almighty? Where is that true ministry such as John the Baptist that rejoices when his disciples forsake him to follow in the footsteps of the Son? May God arise and pour out His fire in this day to ignite the hearts of His people to give our lives unto Him as living sacrifices’!
“An empty altar will receive no fire…”