Throughout the Bible there were several ways God communicated with His people. This is by no means an exhaustive list of the way God spoke to the recipients. God spoke directly to Adam and Eve, Noah, Abram/Abraham and Sarai/Sarah, Moses, Joshua, Samuel, David, Job, Saul, Ananias, John (Rev 1:10-11)… He spoke through messengers or angels to Joseph, Mary, the shepherds, to the women at the empty tomb… He spoke through visions to Isaiah, Ezekiel, Obadiah, Micah, Nahum, and through interpretations of visions such as Daniel interpreted Nebuchadnezzar’s dreams and Joseph interpreted the dreams of fellow prisoners and Pharaoh. Others simply say “the word came to” Jeremiah, Joel, Jonah, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi…
Does God speak to us today? “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets in many times and in various ways, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son , Whom He appointed heir of all things, and through Whom He made the universe.” He 1: 1-2 If we believe the Bible, we have to believe that God still speaks to His people. In their book, “Experiencing God” Henry and Richard Blackaby identify the following ways God speaks:
Through the Bible
Through the church
I also believe He speaks through His Spirit which lives in our hearts. However, we don’t often hear Him speaking; we must first have a relationship with Him before we can identify His voice. The master of all lies can easily disguise himself as God speaking; history has repeatedly proven our incompetence at recognizing and distinguishing between the two.
What is God’s message to His people? We are all unique in our capabilities and gifts and we all have unique needs which can easily change over time and circumstance. Whatever we as individuals need at a particular time is what He offers; not necessarily what we think we need. Some possibilities include:
1. Wise council when faced with important decisions. “He shall be called Wonderful Counselor….” Is 9: 6-7
2. Peace and calmness in the midst of chaos. “He shall be called…Prince of Peace…” Is 9: 6-7
3. He could be calling us to join Him in His work. “’Come, follow Me,’” Jesus said, ‘and I will make you fishers of men.’” Matt 4:19
4. Comfort in times of sorrow. “When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and troubled….Jesus wept.” Jn 11: 33,35
Sometimes God sends a message to us. We have the option of choosing to ignore it or listen. Listening may lead to some kind of action on our part and again we have the option of acting or ignoring. Each choice has its own consequences that come with our decision.