Moses brought together seventy of their elders and had them stand around the Tent. Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke with him.
I wonder what God sounded like?
Moses heard him. The leaders of the people Moses invited around the worship tent in the desert certainly heard him. A few others throughout the pages of the Bible heard the voice of the Lord on those rare occasions when he allowed human beings to listen to him speak. I wonder what it was like? Was his voice loud, deep, and thunderous like the movies depict? Was it frightening? Was it soothing? Was it awe-inspiring? Whatever God sounded like, I wish I could have heard him.
Then again, even if I could hear God’s voice that doesn’t mean I would always listen to him! In this account recorded in the book of Numbers, there were two elders of the people who didn’t come to listen to the Lord. They didn’t gather with the other 68 elders at the worship tent with Moses. They didn’t follow God’s instructions even though they should have known better.
I should know better too. We should all know better! We understand that we are supposed to listen to God’s Word and follow his instructions, but we are inconsistent at best. At worst, we are belligerent and rebellious, prone more often to do whatever we want instead of what God wants. I’m not so sure I would want to hear the tone of voice God would use if he were to speak to me!
But he does speak to me. And he speaks to you too. We don’t hear his voice audibly as he talks from heaven, but we do “hear” his voice in a very real way through the pages of the Bible. And when he speaks, he isn’t angry or bitter or disappointed. He speaks with a softness and with a compassion that comforts our hearts. “You’re forgiven,” he says. “I have sent my Son Jesus to bear the brunt of the punishment you deserve and have cleared you of any offenses by his cross. I love you because you are my child through faith and I will always be your caring Father.”
What a relief! What a message! What a pleasure to hear the voice of our God!
Lord, help me listen to your voice through your written Word. Amen.