“For God speaks time and again,
but a person may not notice it.”
– Elihu (Job 33:14)
The above picture is one of my all time favorite memes. I can’t recall where I came across it (I suspect Facebook). Why do I like it so much? It captures the essence of how God communicates to us… through His Word, the Bible.
In a recent conversation with an unbeliever, I was once again challenged about not only the existence of God, but whether there was a God…
“Why doesn’t God just speak with me directly and end the suspense?” (This is a paraphrase of a very common objection.)
So… Does God ever speak to us?
Elihu says in Job 33:14, “For God speaks time and again, but a person may not notice it.” Elihu says something quite profound.
When Paul wrote to the Romans, he made it very clear that we are all without excuse regarding God’s existence, and also in recognizing that we have each violated His purpose…
Romans 1:18 (HCSB)
“For God’s wrath is revealed from heaven against all godlessness and unrighteousness of people who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth…”
Not only has God clearly spoken to man regarding His wrath, which is “revealed from heaven,” but we have all ignored or “suppressed” such speaking.
So, how does God speak to us?
Through His creation.
Paul goes on…
Romans 1:19-22 (HCSB)
“…since what can be known about God is evident among them, because God has shown it to them. For His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what He has made. As a result, people are without excuse. For though they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God or show gratitude. Instead, their thinking became nonsense, and their senseless minds were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools…”
We (without Christ) are “fools” who claim “to be wise,” and our thinking is “nonsense” because we ignore what is “clearly seen.” God has made Himself “known” to each of us through His creation, “through what He has made.” And, we are all “without excuse,” because God “has shown it” to us; making it “evident.”
In other words, God speaks to us through His creation:
Psalms 97:6 (HCSB)
“The heavens proclaim His righteousness;
all the peoples see His glory.”
Everyone sees His glory through what He has made. Such is the type of speaking I’m talking about. When one sees a sunset or the flash of a lightening bug on warm summer night, God is revealing Himself. God is heard.
But, there is another way, a deeper way that He speaks to us:
It’s through His Word…
John 1:1-2, 14 (HCSB)
“In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He was with God in the beginning…
…The Word became flesh
and took up residence among us.
We observed His glory,
the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father,
full of grace and truth.”
Hebrews 1:1-2 (HCSB)
“Long ago God spoke to the fathers by the prophets at different times and in different ways. In these last days, He has spoken to us by His Son.”
It is through both the creation and the Bible, by which we hear from God. The creation speaks about His existence and it hints at His wrath. It’s clear that by just looking around, it is blatantly obvious that we are not an accident and that something has gone terribly wrong. Just as in the meme above, we all crave and plead to hear from our Creator. However, we want to hear from God as that unbeliever had challenged me. We demand that God speaks to us… directly… on our terms… and not on His.
I urge you (Christian), to read God’s Word, so that you may hear what He has to say…
Psalms 119:81-89 (HCSB)
“I long for Your salvation;
I put my hope in Your word.
My eyes grow weary
looking for what You have promised;
I ask, “When will You comfort me?”
Though I have become like a wineskin dried by smoke,
I do not forget Your statutes.
How many days must Your servant wait?
When will You execute judgment on my persecutors?
The arrogant have dug pits for me;
they violate Your instruction.
All Your commands are true;
people persecute me with lies — help me!
They almost ended my life on earth,
but I did not abandon Your precepts.
Give me life in accordance with Your faithful love,
and I will obey the decree You have spoken.
Lord, Your word is forever;
it is firmly fixed in heaven.”
Godspeed, to the brethren!
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The following was also posted in your OP the “The Lions Den Deliberation Group” FB page.
I believe God speaks to us today in different forms and ways, including an audible voice. The intent of the Cross was not ultimately to forgive sins nor was it to give us the Bible, both which are the means to the goal; but fellowship with God is the goal; that is, that is, the experience of the immediate Presence of God.
That God, “in these last days, has spoken to us in the Son” (which does not, imo, refer to the Bible), does not necessarily mean he no longer speaks as he spoke to “our forefathers and the prophets.”
Therefore, the writer to the Hebrews exhorts, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”
Why would you think that God now speaks audibly, since scripture doesn’t hint at such?
what of those who cannot read, or see? God does speak although consistent with scripture, he is not confined to speaking through the bible only. He does not fit in a theological box.
Romans 1 says that everyone knows He exists and that they’ve violated His purpose by the default of being part of the creation. That’s “general revelation.” But, salvific information, the Gospel, or “special revelation,” must be shared with them. Ultimately, special revelation comes from scripture. Such a person could read scripture in braille, or be read to. I haven’t looked into it, but I’m under the impression that Hellen Keller, who was both blind and deaf, was a believer in Christ.
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