Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Voice

John 12:29-30

Therefore the people who stood by and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, "An angel has spoken to Him." Jesus answered and said, "This voice did not come because of Me, but for your sake."

A voice from heaven had previously proclaimed: "I have both glorified it and will glorify it again." (John 12:28) God was glorifying His Son...and He would do it again (in His death). Those who heard these words said it was a thunderous voice. When God speaks to our spirits while it may not be audible (though at times seems like it) it can seem thunderous. It can be like a very loud thought when scripture has suddenly been made clear or a command or word from God has been given. Or it can be quiet, too! That still small voice.

Jesus said the words that were spoken were for the hearing of the people. He wanted them to know it was for their sakes, as yet another confirmation of who He was. I am reminded of Moses and the Israelites about the time of the giving of the Ten Commandments. Those people heard God speak. It so frightened them they asked He not speak directly to them but through Moses. His presence might cause rumblings, thunder and smoke. Look:

Then it came to pass on the third day, in the morning, that there were thunderings and lightnings, and a thick cloud on the mountain; and the sound of the trumpet was very loud, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Now Mount Sinai was completely in smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire. Its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly. And when the blast of the trumpet sounded long and became louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by voice. (Exodus 19:16-19)

Now all the people witnessed the thunderings, the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood afar off. Then they said to Moses, “You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die.” And Moses said to the people, “Do not fear; for God has come to test you, and that His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin.” (Exodus 20:18-20)

All this to say, we should not be afraid if we hear God speak to us. If He calls your name, do not shrink back from it. Hear and listen. He desires each of us as His own. If you hear His voice, consider it a privilege.

Remember Jonah. God called to Jonah commanding him to give a word to a people whom He wanted to save. After the command Jonah fled from Him! It's not good to flee from God. He continued to seek out Jonah (although He knew where he was) and tested him. Jonah had no rest until he relented. God may have been disappointed in Jonah but was not going to let him go. God may be calling you, too. He may keep it up. If you hear Him, do not be afraid and do not flee. Enter into His rest. Good will come of it. Only good can come of it.

Hebrews 4:6-7 - Since therefore it remains that some must enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience, again He designates a certain day, saying in David, “Today,” after such a long time, as it has been said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.” 

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