Andy Hollifield 6-13-17
Genesis 3:8 And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day…
I know I have written a little on this recently but I wanted to delve into it a little further. What a blessed time when we hear his voice. The first time the term “voice of the Lord” is used in the bible is here in Genesis 3:8. It is used a total of 48 times. There are a lot more times when he spoke to his people and often his words came through the prophets. But the ones I want to talk about are when he spoke directly to his people either as a group and especially to individuals. I mentioned recently about how that God spoke to Moses out of the midst of the burning bush in Exodus chapter 3. But if you begin to look on, the Lord spoke to several people throughout the Old Testament. There were only a few occasions in the New Testament where the voice of the Lord was heard.
The first time is when Jesus was baptized by John in Matthew 3:17 “And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”. The next time was on the Mount of Transfiguration when the Peter wanted to build three tabernacles. Matthew 17:5 says, “While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him”. The Lord God spoke again in John 12:28 after Jesus prayed and said “Father, glorify thy name”. “Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified, and will glorify it again”. There was a noise came from heaven in Acts 2:2 on the day of Pentecost that sounded like a mighty rushing wind but no voice that time. That was when the disciples and all that were with them were filled with the Holy Ghost which Jesus had promised before he left. The next time a voice came from heaven, it was the voice of Jesus when he spoke to Paul on the Damascus Road. Even the men that were with him heard the voice but saw no man. The next time was when Peter up on the housetop in Joppa praying about the sixth hour. As he waited for supper to be prepared, he fell into a trance and saw the vision of the great sheet descending from heaven. In Acts 10:13 “And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill and eat”. The conversation continued and the voice spoke again in verse 15 and told Peter, “What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common”. This was when the Lord called Peter to go to the Gentiles after he had seen the vision three times. This was when the three men sent from Cornelius arrived to get Peter to come and preach to them. The next time was in Revelation 1:10 when John heard a great voice behind him that was like a trumpet. The voice continued to speak to John throughout the Revelation. He actually heard several voices throughout the book. He heard the voice of the Lord, the Spirit, angels, and also multitudes in heaven.
I am not intending to discount the Old Testament occasions where the Lord spoke to his people in a voice. The second time in the Old Testament where the voice of the Lord was heard, was after Cain killed Abel. In Genesis 11:5 the Lord again came down to the earth to see the city and the Tower of Babel which was being built. In 11:7 the Lord spoke apparently to the Son and the Holy Ghost when he said “Let us go down and there confound their language”. There is a long list of people who the Lord spoke to in the Old Testament from Abraham to Noah, Moses, Joshua, Samuel, David and more. God spoke himself and also used priests, prophets, and angels to speak his will to people and even used a donkey once.
All of these are great stories but there are even greater stories that are not in the bible. Those are the stories that you and I have to tell of when the Lord spoke to us and moved conviction upon our hearts and we realized we were lost and on our way to hell. When we repented, he gloriously saved us and we are no longer a slave to sin. If we will listen, he speaks directly to us daily. When the veil of the temple was torn into from top to bottom, the way for us to have direct access to God was then opened up. In Revelation 3:19-20 Jesus was speaking again and said, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. (20) Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me”. I am glad that invitation is still open. Revelation 22:17 “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely”. All you have to be is thirsty and you can come. He said “whosoever” and that includes you. You cannot just make a decision for Christ and be saved anytime you want to but the Spirit must draw you to God. When he draws you, that is the knocking that Jesus spoke of. It is then you can accept the Lord as your Savior after you repent.
I am thankful for all the times when I get to hear his voice. When he speaks to me and we enjoy sweet fellowship just as Adam did prior to the sin in the garden. I am glad he speaks to us individually now just as he did then. I hope just thinking back on the times he has spoken to you, especially in your darkest hours, will encourage you and make you want to hear from him again and again. Just listen for the sound of his voice. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!
Andy Hollifield 6-13-17