V is for Voice
1. the sound or sounds uttered through the mouth of living creatures, especially of human beings in speaking, shouting, singing, etc.
2. the faculty or power of uttering sounds through the mouth by the controlled expulsion of air; speech
3. Synonyms – cry, sound, speech, statement, tone, articulation, call, murmur, shout, song, roar
The first voices I remember hearing are the voices of my parents in that small farm house in the panhandle of Oklahoma. In Clinton, Oklahoma, my two brothers’ voices were added to what I heard. Differences in the voices were clear to me. One Christmas solo I heard, Star of the East, was sung with a wide vibrato. I had never heard such singing before. My Grandfather Suderman, Aunt Bernice and Uncle Eli’s voices sang that same song with clear voices.
Emory Gasaway, our minister, baptized me when I was 8 years old. One of his sermons stayed with me. He described a cliff in detail. Everyone stood around that cliff. Inching forward to cross the line, we could peer into the valley of a huge burning fire. We knew that moving forward could cause a tumble into everlasting fire. I always wondered how close to the line I could come before I lost my balance and lost my soul.
After my Dad died, I returned home one day and found the calendar picture of Dad holding a harvest of grapes. I realized I had forgotten my Father’s Voice. No matter how I tried, the memory was gone. Now the memory of my Mother’s Voice is gone, too. I can remember the things they taught me, their words are still with me, but the sound of their voices are gone.
My thoughts about voices turned toward the Bible. The written words are there, but not the sound of the voices. How long did Abram remember the voice that told him to leave Ur of Chaldees? How interesting that Isaac knew the voice of Jacob’s and not Esau’s, when he came for his birth right. Genesis 27:22
The promise of God to Moses that if he obeys, I will not make you suffer illness, I am the Lord who heals you, Exodus 15:26
And the Lord spoke to you from the heart of the fire. You heard the sound of his words but didn’t see his form; there was only a voice. Deuteronomy 4:12
Serve only the Lord your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him. Deuteronomy 13:4
Which brings us to the question what does God’s voice sound like? How would we know it is God? Even more than our family, God’s voice is a mystery to us. Yet the Bible describes his voice in terse and stark terms. Knowing His Voice may be more a recognition from the heart than from the sound. In today’s world the sound is turned up on TV, Radio, Ipod, Ipad, earphones, computer, speakers – how could we even manage to hear God’s Voice?
I Kings 19:11-13 contains a description of the voice of the Lord to Elijah - “Go out and stand before me on the mountain, the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.
Voice of God as described in the Bible:
Thunder > 2 Samuel 22:14 ~ Loud voice > I Kings 8:55 ~ Echoes above the Sea > Psalm 29:3 ~ Majestic > Psalm 29:4 ~ The voice of the Lord splits the mighty cedars; the Lord shatters the cedars of Lebanon > Psalm 29:5 ~ strikes with bolts of lightning >
Psalm 29:7 ~ makes the barren wilderness quake; the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh > Psalm 29:8 ~ twists mighty oaks and strips the forests bare > Psalm 29:9 ~ roared like a vast multitude of people. > Daniel 10:6 ~ like waves crashing against the shore > Ezekiel 1:24 ~ The moving wings of the cherubim sounded like the voice of God Almighty and could be heard even in the outer courtyard. > Ezekiel 10:5 ~ The Lord’s voice will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem, and the heavens and the earth will shake > Joel 3:16 ~ For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. > I Thessalonians 4:16 ~ a loud voice like a trumpet blast > Revelation 1:10
Is Jesus still calling? Yes. “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. Revelation 3:20. Today my husband looks at the open front door. In his Fogged- Dementia/Mind he told me that he keeps expecting someone really important to come through the door. Someone who will visit with him and I was filled with many thoughts. Is my husband thinking more clearly than I know? After I named the people who have come through the open door, friends and family, he said, No. “Not any of those people. I am waiting for the Lord to come through the door.” My husband is waiting for the voice of the Lord.
I wonder how the shepherds felt when they heard the voices of the angels announcing the birth of Jesus. Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” Luke 2:13-14
Have you heard the voice of an angel, God’s messengers? Have you heard the nudge/voice of the Holy Spirit? Or perhaps you have had the experience of Balaam when his donkey rebuked him in a human voice. Numbers 22:21-28 and 2 Peter 2:16.
The promise is - He is coming, Jesus is coming! We wait for the Word, alive or dead, we will know. We will hear his Voice. Our hearts will thrill like never before! “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves.” I Thessalonians 4:16