God Speaks In Unique Ways
His communication can be described in a multitude of ways. Surprising, expected, powerful, unusual, unavoidable, miraculous, necessary, strong, gentle, loving, judgmental, appropriate, wise, perfectly timed, purposeful, sufficient, successful, mysterious, understandable (to the obedient), hidden (from the rebellious), ordinary, extra-ordinary and irreplaceable are just a few words that describe it. Often His communication is done in ways that He and He alone can accomplish. His methods of communication alone should convince us that He is God even without considering what He says.
I can speak to your ears and possibly even your minds. God alone can speak to your whole being. Often when I hear a preacher speak there is someone else speaking past my ears to my heart. Our whole being ought to be like one large ear when we hear from God. A young lady who reads these Bible Topics once said a wonderful thing to me. She said: When you speak it is like God talking. When we quote God*s Word and His truth, it is God talking!
Sometimes God speaks over the din of our lives. Sometimes when He speaks it is like a shout that we cannot avoid hearing. Sometimes He permits us to drown out His voice. There is a distinctiveness about God*s communication. No one else can communicate like He can. He invented communication. He gave many languages at the Tower of Babble. He is the Master Communicator.
John 1:14: And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
John 1:1: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The Word that was made flesh can be none other than Jesus. Jesus is even called the Word. His words, whole being and all His actions communicate to us.
Hebrews 1:1-2: God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
Matthew 7:28-29: And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
John 7:46: The officers answered, Never man spake like this man.
A study of the meaning of the names of God will teach that one of them means The God Who Reveals.
God spoke through Urim and Thummim
There is much that we do not know about those things. They seem to be some kind of rocks or other objects that were put into the breastplate of the Jewish high priest. We don*t know if they glowed red or green meaning stop or go. We don*t know if God gave the priest some kind of text message through them or what. Here are some passages for your perusal:
Exodus 28:30: And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron*s heart, when he goeth in before the LORD: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the LORD continually.
Leviticus 8:8: And he put the breastplate upon him: also he put in the breastplate the Urim and the Thummim.
Numbers 27:21: And he shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall ask counsel for him after the judgment of Urim before the LORD: at his word shall they go out, and at his word they shall come in, both he, and all the children of Israel with him, even all the congregation.
Deuteronomy 33:8: And of Levi he said, Let thy Thummim and thy Urim be with thy holy one, whom thou didst prove at Massah, and with whom thou didst strive at the waters of Meribah;
1 Samuel 28:6: And when Saul enquired of the LORD, the LORD answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets.
Ezra 2:63: And the Tirshatha said unto them, that they should not eat of the most holy things, till there stood up a priest with Urim and with Thummim.
Nehemiah 7:65: And the Tirshatha said unto them, that they should not eat of the most holy things, till there stood up a priest with Urim and Thummim.
The Open American Tract Society Dictionary definition:
God spoke through the fleece of a sheep
He gave confirmation of His word to Gideon through this physical phenomenon.
Judges 6:37-40: Behold, I will put a fleece of wool in the floor; and if the dew be on the fleece only, and it be dry upon all the earth beside, then shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said. And it was so: for he rose up early on the morrow, and thrust the fleece together, and wringed the dew out of the fleece, a bowl full of water. And Gideon said unto God, Let not thine anger be hot against me, and I will speak but this once: let me prove, I pray thee, but this once with the fleece; let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and upon all the ground let there be dew. And God did so that night: for it was dry upon the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground.
Many Christians ask for and receive God*s guidance through a process like that. If a believer has two things to choose from and genuinely commits himself to abide by God*s choice, he will know God*s choice. If he prefers one choice or the other, he will not be objective enough to discern God*s choice. Sometimes our impatience to know God*s will hampers the process.
I heard of a gentlemen who promised God that he would not stop at the Dunkin* Donuts unless there was an open parking place. He had to circle the block 7 times before a parking place opened up. That is not the way to learn God*s will. The gentleman was after his own will, not God*s.
I am amazed at how often we just stumble into God*s will. Sometimes we don*t know things are His will until years later. I believe there will be thousands of things that God will show us when we get to heaven that will show us how His hand was upon every detail of our lives. There are multitudes of things that we don*t even need to know about. He handles those things. I don*t normally like surprises. God*s surprises to us are always delightful.
God spoke through a burning bush
God is the Master at getting our attention. He got Moses attention by showing him a bush that burned without being consumed.
Exodus 3:1-6: Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb. And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.
God gets my attention in unusual ways also. When I am driving my car and come upon an accident scene I believe God brings me to those accident scenes for the specific purpose of praying for the people involved in the accident. I pray for the victims* lives and health and for their salvation. I pray for the law enforcement people, firemen and ambulance people for guidance and salvation. When I see another driver doing something surprising or out of the ordinary I believe God has called my attention to that so that I will pray for those drivers also. Sometimes it is pedestrians that God causes me to notice. It might be an energetic youth doing something surprising or it might be a weak and pathetic old person. Shortly after I became saved I saw a little girl in a school uniform running down the side of the street to school. The uniform looked so inadequate against the cold winter of Illinois. She was running to get out of the cold. It brought me to tears. I knew unmistakably that I was being directed to pray for that little girl. I prayed for her health and salvation. Sometimes God puts people that I know into my mind. I can*t get them off my mind until I pray for them.
The church I attended in Illinois supported a missionary to Pakistan. She taught and was the principal in a Christian girls* school there. One morning I could not get that lady off my mind. I prayed for her. The following Sunday morning at church I learned that there had been an earthquake in Pakistan the morning I prayed for her. Walls of the structures of the school were knocked down. No one was hurt!! No one will ever convince me that God did not cause me to pray for that lady. No one!!
If you are a Christian I believe God calls your attention to people and their needs for a purpose. You need to respond appropriately when He does that. It may be that you are to pray and it may be you are also to act.
God speaks face to face
When God speaks to a person it ought to change the one He speaks to and his actions and purposes. There is sometimes evidence in someone*s life that God has spoken. It can also have an impact on a third person or people.
Exodus 33:11: And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.
Exodus 34:29-30: And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses* hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him. And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come nigh him.
Exodus 34:35: And the children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses* face shone: and Moses put the vail upon his face again, until he went in to speak with him.
God speaks in a still small voice
The voice is sometimes spoken of as being behind us. We won*t see where the voice is coming from.
Isaiah 30:21: And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.
1 Kings 19:11-12: And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.
Revelation 1:10: I was in the Spirit on the Lord*s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
Ezekiel may have been taken into the presence of the voice rather than the voice speaking to him where he was. There can be a geographical or physical location where God wants to speak to us. It may be that Ezekiel was merely stood up by the spirit. God can simply want us in a different attitude when He speaks. God dealt with the people of Israel more noticeably and more regularly in and near the tabernacle.
Ezekiel 3:12: Then the spirit took me up, and I heard behind me a voice of a great rushing, saying, Blessed be the glory of the LORD from his place.
God speaks to our hearts
Romans 8:16: The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
God speaks through rainbows
God reminds us and Himself of his promise not to destroy the earth again with a flood every time he gives us a rainbow.
Genesis 9:11-17: And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.
God spoke in fire and clouds
Exodus 13:21-22: And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.
Exodus 24:16: And the glory of the LORD abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day he called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud.
Exodus 40:37-38: But if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the LORD was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.
God spoke through thunder and lightning and trumpets
Exodus 19:16-19: And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled. And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount. And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly. And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.
The people of Israel couldn*t handle God speaking to them. They sought a cushion between them and God. They wanted God*s speech softened. They wanted Moses to relay the messages from God. I think that we Christians also often want God*s speech cushioned and softened.
Exodus 20:20: And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not. And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.
Exodus 24:17: And the sight of the glory of the LORD was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel.
Deuteronomy 5:4-5: The LORD talked with you face to face in the mount out of the midst of the fire, (I stood between the LORD and you at that time, to shew you the word of the LORD: for ye were afraid by reason of the fire, and went not up into the mount;) . . .
Deuteronomy 5:23-27: And it came to pass, when ye heard the voice out of the midst of the darkness, (for the mountain did burn with fire,) that ye came near unto me, even all the heads of your tribes, and your elders; And ye said, Behold, the LORD our God hath shewed us his glory and his greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire: we have seen this day that God doth talk with man, and he liveth. Now therefore why should we die? for this great fire will consume us: if we hear the voice of the LORD our God any more, then we shall die. For who is there of all flesh, that hath heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived? Go thou near, and hear all that the LORD our God shall say: and speak thou unto us all that the LORD our God shall speak unto thee; and we will hear it, and do it.
The voice of God can speak judgment or it can give life. The people of Israel were afraid it would kill them. Moses knew that it was life-giving. To unbelievers it speaks judgment. To believers it gives life. What does the voice of God speak to you?
Care to discuss God Speaks In Unique Ways with Ron?