January 06, 2008

The Voice of God

Deuteronomy 4:32-40

"Has any other people heard the voice of God ... as you have ...?"
Deuteronomy 4:32-40


Picture the bitter silence of a friend after an argument; the wasting silence of a daughter's coma; the unending silence after a spouse's death. Devastating! We need to hear the voices of others-even disappointed or angry ones-or we dissolve into ourselves.

The people of Israel saw the amazing works of God and heard the thundering voice of God from Mount Sinai, and they trembled in righteous fear. No other people had heard such speech; no other people had experienced such a God. Very simply, "there is no other."

Often, though, there are other voices that try to distract us from hearing God. The ancient tempter tries in all kinds of ways to make us doubt, distrust, and rebel against the Lord. This happened long ago to Israel in the desert, and it happens to us today. We are easily tempted to complain, criticize, and puff ourselves up with pride, thinking we deserve more out of life.

But the Lord is all we need, and he takes care of all our needs, even blessing us with abundance. Because he loves us, God breaks into our silence, speaking to us through his Word, the Bible, and especially through Jesus Christ, the living Word (see John 1:1-2, 14). In the silence of our self-absorption, we may be tempted to wait for a more pleasing voice. But there is no other true speech. Let's hear the voice of God today-and live.

"Lord, speak to me that I may speak, in living echoes" of your voice. Help me to hear you and see your works in my life, sharing with others so that they too may live. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Arie C. Leder

Dr. Arie C. Leder is the Martin J. Wyngaarden Senior Professor of Old Testament Studies at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He previously served as pastor at Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church, Trenton, Ontario, and with Christian Reformed World Missions in Latin America. He teaches courses on the Pentateuch and on historical books of the Old Testament.

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