Summary: There is no greater joy than hearing Jesus call, for there is no greater voice than His.
We often long for things to happen that would frighten us into wishing they would not
have happened. One of these things is that God would talk to us directly in an audible
voice. We have no conception of what this would be like to hear the voice of God. The
people of Israel did hear it once and they were so frightened that they begged Moses to
tell God never to do it again, but to speak to them through the voice of a man. In Deut.
5:22-23 it says that God spoke to them out of the darkness as the mountain was ablaze
with fire. It was scarier than listening to ghost stories around any campfire. They felt
they would die if they ever heard God speak directly to them again, and so they requested
that Moses go near to God and listen, and then pass on to them what God had to say to
them. God’s voice was too awesome for them, and they did not want to hear it anymore.
They survived it once, but did not want to risk ever hearing it again.
Apparently God talks too loud for the comfort of the human ear. He does not even
need any loud speakers when He speaks from the top of a mountain to the people in the
valley below. If you have even been in a storm where the lightning and thunder have kept
coming in a continuous series of loud bangs that startle your ears, then you have a slight
concept of what it must be like to hear God’s voice. Spurgeon said in one of his sermons,
“It might well have occurred to a Jewish mind to have called the thunder the voice of
God, when he considered the loudness of it, when all other voices are hushed; even if they
be the loudest voices mortals can utter, or the most mighty sounds; yet are they but
indistinct whispers, compared with the voice of God in the thunder.” The people who
heard it said never again do we want this experience. We want God to speak to us in a
quieter voice. No man can shout loud enough to frighten us like the voice of God, and so
from now on they preferred to hear God through the voice of man.
God was not offended, for He knew His voice was not the best for public speaking. The
ears of man were not designed to listen to such loud tones. He agreed to keep silent and
speak through the voice of man, and especially a very specific man. This is how he
"And the Lord said unto me, They have well spoken that which
they have spoken. I will raise them up a Prophet from among
their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his
mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command
him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken
unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it
of him" (Deuteronomy 18:15-19).
This is a messianic prophecy that refers to the coming of Jesus Christ into the world
to speak the Word of God. God sent many prophets, but Jesus was the Prophet who
spoke in the name of God. When Jesus spoke it was the very voice of God that men
heard, and God holds all men responsible for what they hear from the voice of Jesus.
Hearing Him is hearing God directly, and so the voice of Jesus is the greatest voice in
history, and the greatest voice in the universe, for it is the voice of God. It is a softer
voice, and it is easier on the ears, but it is just as authoritative as the thunderous voice of
the Father. Heb. 1:2 says, “..in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son,…” God
spoke in a variety of ways in the Old Testament, but now He has spoken directly again by
the Word, and the Word was with God from the beginning, and the Word was God. Jesus
was the very voice of God in human flesh. Jesus was God speaking to man again directly
and not through an agent. God speaks through nature, music, poetry, books, sermons,
and a host of different ways, but these voices are not the greatest. There is only one that
is the greatest and that is the voice of Jesus. Other voices tell of God, but the voice of
Jesus is God speaking, and his voice shows us God.
In Heb. 12:18-19 this Old Testament event of hearing the voice of God is referred to
again, and tells of how the people begged not to hear the voice of God again. It was so