An audible voice. We’d love to hear one from God. We read the Old Testament and see all the places where He spoke out loud. Moses got a burning bush. Abraham got visiting angels. Samuel got woken up in the middle of the night. Belshazzar got handwriting on the wall.
Our kids hear these Old Testament accounts of God speaking audibly and visibly and wonder why God doesn’t speak out loud anymore. Did He lose His voice?
The answer to that question is an emphatic “no.” God hasn’t lost His voice. If God chooses to, He can speak just as audibly today. I’ve never heard God’s voice speak out loud as He did to Moses. I’ve never seen handwriting on the wall, but I beleive that God is just as capable of doing both of those things today as He was thousands of years ago. He simply chooses not to.
The people of the Old Testament didn’t have the Bible. Most of them were illiterate, so having the Bible wouldn’t have helped them anyway. They were from oral cultures where the accounts of the things God did were handed down by voice. If God was going to speak, He had to do it in a way that people could understand and relate to. In that time, an audible voice was the best option.
God still speaks to us. He just speaks to us in a different way. He gave us the Bible so we would have His word written down. We can read it any time we want, so God can speak to us through the words He’s already given to others. We also hear God’s voice through other people. Our pastors and our kids’ children’s worship leaders are good examples of people who speak the word of God to us.
We also hear from God through prayer. Part of prayer is listening for God’s voice. We need to teach our kids that prayer is not just listing off a bunch of things we want God to do for us. It’s also listening for the things that God wants us to do. That’s a hard skill to learn. We have to be quiet and focused if we want to hear God’s voice, which often comes in the promptings and yearnings of our hearts.
It would be so easy for us if God spoke audibly like He did for Moses or Elijah. But when God speaks in the quiet of our souls, it forces us to pay attention. It forces us to build a relationship with Him so we recognize His voice. The trick to hearing God’s voice today is knowing His voice. In John 10:27, Jesus says, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” If we aren’t listening, if we aren’t spending time with God so that we know what His quiet voice in our souls sounds like, then we’ll miss Him.
God may not speak audibly or write on the wall very often anymore, but He does still speak. We just have to be listening.