God has spoken: God still speaks!

Please read Psalm 19 and 1 Corinthians 1 :18-25 and then pray; May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock, and my Redeemer. (Psalm19:14)

There are occasions in the bible when we are told that an individual heard the voice of God speaking audibly and clearly to them. I wonder what that voice sounded like? The actor, filmmaker, and narrator, Morgan Freeman has played “the voice of God” on more than one occasion – and in such an effective way that when this actors voice is heard, some will even say: “Isn’t that the voice of God.”

Moses heard God speaking to him through the strange spectacle of a burning bush – a bush that did not burn up. (Exodus 3:3f). The boy Samuel is another person who heard the voice of God speaking to him and calling him by name. (Samuel 3: 1f) In this season of Lent we have already noted the voice of the Father speaking audibly and clearly to His Son Jesus at his baptism. This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. (Matthew 3:17) The voice of God is also heard after Jesus is later transfigured before his confused disciples, Peter, James, and John. This time the voice is more for their benefit than for the benefit of Jesus. This is my Son, whom I love, with him I am well pleased. Listen to him. (Matthew 17:5) The voice of the Father was heard at the outset of Jesus’s ministry at his baptism, and again at the crucial turning point in his ministry when he was transfigured; from then on, he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem to suffer and die. The voice from heaven was also audibly heard just days before his sacrificial death. (Read John 12: 27-33)

God has clearly spoken according to the bible and throughout biblical history. How might God speak to us? Is it possible for us to hear God? Is it possible for us to know God – to know that God exists and that His love for us is real? How can we come to know God and hear God speaking to us?

If we are to ever know God or to hear God, God must reveal Himself to us. By our own efforts and because of our own sinfulness – we can never come to know God in a real and personal way. God must choose to make Himself known to us. The apostle Paul taught that the world cannot know God through its own wisdom. (1 Corinthians 1:21) The Christian Pastor and author Peter Lewis writes; “There is a gulf between ourselves and God which can only be bridged from the divine side. The message of Scripture is that God has crossed that gulf and made himself known, not vaguely, but specifically, not just informatively but savingly, in words of his choice to people of his choice.” (The Living God p18).

Psalm 19 reveals how God can be heard in two ways. This is the classic Psalm which deals with the subject of God’s Self-Revelation. God taking the initiative to speak to us. How does God make Himself known to us? Francis Bacon, one of the founders of the modern scientific method described two books which can be read, and through which God can be known and heard. These “two books” form the two distinct parts of Psalm 19, and can be referred to as the book of God’s works (in creation) and the book of God’s words (in the law). God speaks to us through his creative works (v 1-6) and through his specially revealed Word (7-11).

Firstly, let us consider the fact that God speaks to us through His glorious creation. God speaks not with an audible voice but through the way we can visually engage with the vast and awesome power and glory of his creation. The Psalmist especially highlights the display of God’s glory in the heavens, in the sky, in the mighty array of stars, and in the splendour and glory of the sun. Through the glory of the heavens, God speaks clearly and powerfully about His glorious and eternal existence, power, wisdom, and goodness. (Read Psalm 19: 1-4)

The Psalmist believes that God speaks through the wonders of the heavens and the earth. God does not speak audibly but still makes a universal declaration for all to hear. The heavens declare the glory of God. The skies proclaim the work of his hands. The heavens and the skies communicate God’s glory to us. And the Psalmist says that this communication is not subtle or minimal. Day after day, there is a torrent of communication from God to us about His existence, wisdom, and power. Speech is poured forth. Night after night, as we gaze at the stars – God says – “I AM is here, I AM created all this. This knowledge of God and this speech of God is given to all people across the entire globe. The voice of God’s creative power and genius goes out to every person in every nation, over all continents and islands, and to the “ends of the world.” (4b) Unless you have no sight, everyone can hear the voice of God through creation. All you must do, wherever you live, is lift your eyes and observe the skies.

“To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One. Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and strength, not one of them is missing. (Isaiah 40: 25-26)

In response to the “The God Delusion,” a best-selling book written by the proud atheist Richard Dawkins, the Scottish Minister David Robinson wrote “The Dawkins Letters.” In one of them, David Robinson writes;

As a young boy I was brought up in an area which had very little light pollution and so during the winter nights I often walked under the stars, risking injury by continually gazing upwards. The stars awe, amaze and fascinate me. Nowadays I can visit the local observatory in Dundee where I am greeted by an inscription above the door. “This observatory is given that you may observe the wonders of the Creator in the heavens.” (p70)

Friends, what do you see when you gaze into the sky? Do you hear the voice of God when you see fluffy wide clouds scudding by against a backdrop of beautiful blue sky? When you have the pleasure of seeing a glorious sunrise or sunset, do you hear the voice of the living God? Do you see and sense the glory of the Almighty? Does the sight of a magnificent sunset cause you to acknowledge, thank and worship your Creator? The Psalmist commenting on the course of the sun writes; It rises at one end of the heavens (which declare the glory of God) and makes it circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat. (6) And so, in another place the Psalmist can write these well-known words of exclamation: “From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised.” (Psalm 113:3)

Sadly, and tragically, many agree with Richard Dawkins and others that there is no God. There is no Creator. Others are unsure, but do not stop to really think and listen to God’s voice through the created order and glory. The apostle Paul says that humans in their sinfulness and rebellion choose not to listen to the Divine voice. They suppress the knowledge that God offers them. They choose to sideline God and exchange His glory and the wonder of his voice for idols of their own making. Listen to the powerful message and challenge of Paul in Romans 1: 18-23. (read)

Paul argues that no-one has an excuse for not hearing God through His creation. No-one can claim and boast – “There is no God.” The strong Divine imprint on creation is clear. It can be “clearly seen.” God has made His existence and glory “plain to all people.” God’s existence is as plain as the nose on your face. So consequently, on the day of judgement – no-one will have an excuse that they never knew of God’s existence, glory, or voice. Does God speak today to you and me and everyone else created in his image and for His glory? You bet He does! But do you respond with wonder and praise, or do you suppress the truth and cover your eyes and eyes?

Now secondly, as we run with the teaching of Psalm 19, we are told there is a second book through which God speaks to the world of humankind. This is the book of the law – or the Torah as the Jews refer to it. God chose to call forth one nation and build through them a plan for the salvation that would impact all the nations of the earth. Through father Abraham this would happen in accordance with God’s promise and faithfulness. (Genesis 12: 2-3) As part of this move to bring salvation to us all, God also chose to communicate through human words and language by giving his own law (the ten commandments) to Israel and the world. But it did not stop at those mighty commandments – God gave His Word to many specially called and anointed prophets, priests, and kings, so that the OT was born. This was then to be followed by the NT, but I will come on to that in a minute.

God speaks through the blessed Holy Scriptures. If you want to hear the voice of the Lord, you can hear it through the witness of the Scriptures. This form of communication is even clearer than the voice that reaches out of the heavens to us. Why? Because this is the actual Word of the Lord! Not audible, but as good as. As the great hymn writer Issac Watts writes;

The heavens declare thy glory, Lord,
in every star thy wisdom shines;
But when our eyes behold Thy Word,
we read Thy name in fairer lines.

God’s Word coming to us in the sacred Scriptures, lifts God’s voice to a new and even brighter level. Created order concerns God’s general revelation to the entire world. God’s written Word communicates his voice to those who come into direct contact with this special revelation. The Psalmist says that through the Torah God gives;

  • Law which is perfect and which revives the soul.
  • Statutes which are trustworthy and make the simple wise.
  • Precepts which are right and give joy to the heart.
  • Commands which are radiant (like the sun previously described) and give light to the eyes.
  • Fear which is pure and endures forever.
  • Ordinances which are sure (reliable) and altogether righteous, leading to righteousness.

The Word of God is more precious than gold. His Word leads us into all the wealth and treasures of heaven. The Word from God is sweeter than the choicest honey. God’s Word is delightful and tastes glorious to the soul of man who hungers for a real knowledge of God his Creator. Reading the bible (OT and NT) is like reading a love-letter from God. This book, this library of books, can lead us into a deep and personal knowledge of God through Jesus, and enables us to personally hear God’s voice. Paul writes to Timothy the famous words about the true nature of Scripture;

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 4: 14-17)

 Million have discovered the joy of hearing the voice of God in these blessed pages which are God-breathed – God inspired. The Scriptures pour out God’s voice of love. The Scriptures are the doorway into a personal knowledge and love for God. The Scriptures open-up the Kingdom of heaven and invite us in. Man shall not live by bread alone but by all that proceeds from the mouth of God. Psalm 119, not 19, takes up 176 verses which are devoted to telling the world what the bible thinks about the bible. This Psalm magnifies God’s Word as God’s living Word and advocates that we love it, meditate upon it, shape our lives around it, and aspire to be led by it in every way. I urge you to read the Scriptures regularly and enthusiastically, and allow them be your supreme authority for living in this world which God created.

Immanuel Kant, the great philosopher, wrote; “The bible is an inexhaustible fountain of all truths. The existence of the Bible is the greatest blessing which humanity ever experienced.” Martin Luther, the great Reformer, wrote; “I have made a covenant with God that he sends me neither visions, dreams, nor even angels. I am well satisfied with the gift of the Holy Scriptures, which give me abundant instruction and all that I need to know both for this life and for that which is to come. C.H. Spurgeon, perhaps the greatest Baptist preacher of all time wrote this; “The bible speaks to you in the very tones of God’s voice.” Jesus said; “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” (Matthew 24:35) For me, that is enough!

This is why the bible has no rivals when it comes to people’s hunger for truth concerning God, for durability, for reliability, for power to change us and to save us. So, we thank God for this special revelation given to us through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit – working in and through Spirit anointed and inspired prophets and apostles.

Finally, we come to the Word made flesh. We have considered the Word on tablets or on papyrus or on paper, but we hear God and we experience God in the most blessed and ultimate sense through his only Son – Jesus Christ – the Living Word – or the Word made flesh – who came to live among us. Let us return to our fundamental starting point and key question. How can we hear God? How can we know God? Taking God’s self-revelation to an even greater level, we now come face to face with God himself – God the Son – who came into this dark world – to live and die for us. Jesus is the voice of God! Jesus is the human face of God! As Paul writes; “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form…” (Colossians 2:9) Listen also to the opening words in the book of Hebrews;

In the past GOD SPOKE to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various places, but in these last days HE HAS SPOKEN TO US through HIS SON, who he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.”


If anyone wishes to know anything about God – his existence, his glory, his holy nature – his love, his justice, his righteousness, his compassion, his wrath, his mercy – then look no further than Jesus; Jesus REVEALS ALL. “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father, said Jesus.” “I am the way, the truth and the life; no-one comes to the Father except through me, said Jesus.” “I and the Father are one, said Jesus.” These are extraordinary truth claims and statements made by the greatest man who has ever walked upon the face of the earth. The were made by the man who was God.

And the bible makes clear, especially in the NT, that the greatest revelation and expression of God’s awesome glory and boundless love this world will ever know took place a barren hilly rock known as Calvary – or the Skull. (John 12:27-28) On a cruel cross, the sinless Son of God bled and died for a world which is in ruins through its own sin and rebellion. As Paul states in Romans; “But God demonstrates his love for us in this; While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) Perhaps the most famous verse in this sacred book declares this to anyone who will listen and take heed;

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

This is why the apostle Paul is at pains to stress to the Corinthians that the key message is “the message of the cross.” (1 Corinthians 1:18) This must be the message delivered to the world by the Church who are the chosen people of God. (1 Corinthians 1:27) Paul declares unashamedly that “we preach Christ crucified.” (23) Later he states; “For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” (2:2) Why were Paul and the other apostles so fiercely and rigidly committed to preaching Christ crucified and risen? Because this, and this alone would lead people to be reconciled to God. The cross speaks so powerfully of God’s glory – the glory of his love, justice, righteousness, and grace; the glory of his recovery plan for the world. God’s love and justice kiss each other at the cross. (Psalm 85:10) It is the cross and only the cross that enables you and I and anyone to experience;

  • The full forgiveness of sins.
  • Complete reconciliation to God.
  • New birth into God’s Kingdom.
  • The gracious gift of eternal life.
  • The gift and blessing of the Holy Spirit.

The message of the cross may sound like utter foolishness to so many – especially those who see themselves as wise, sophisticated, academic types; the cross is utter madness to them; it is an utter scandal to the proud. God sending his Son to die in our place on a cross? Shear nonsense…… BUT, not to those who are now being saved. To them, to me, the cross is everything. The cross of Jesus is the power of God and the wisdom of God and I am happy to embrace the Christ who came and died for me. I am also pleased and proud to take up my own cross and follow him with his, and as I do so, I will also experience the power of his resurrection and the hope of the glory of God. (Romans 5: 1-2)

“May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through the world (with its supposed wisdom) is crucified to me, and I to the world.” (Galatians 6:14) If you can say this with the apostle Paul from the depths of your heart – I declare in the name of the Saviour – you are a true Christian – one who knows God, the love of God in Jesus, and the transforming power of the cross, the resurrection and the Holy Spirit.”

In the words of hymn writer Thomas Kelly;

We sing the praise of Him who died, of Him who died upon the cross;
the sinners hope let men deride, for this we count the world but lost.
Inscribed upon the cross we see, in shining letters, “God is love.”
He bears our sins upon the tree; He brings us mercy from above.
The cross! It takes our guilt away; it holds the fainting spirit up;
it cheers with hope the gloomy day and sweetens every bitter cup.
It makes the coward spirit brave, and nerves the feeble arm for fight;
it takes the terror from the grave, and gilds the bed of death with light.
The balm of life, the cure of woe, the measure, and the pledge of love;
the sinners’ refuge here below, the angel’s theme in heaven above.”

God speaks to the world through the cross and the empty tomb. Are you listening world? Do not ignore so great a salvation. Do you hear the voice from heaven? This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17, 17:5). “Listen to him.” Listen to Jesus and you will hear God speak to you, and by His grace, you will come to know and love your Creator and Redeemer.

Revd Peter J Clarkson (3.3.24)