Through the course of life’s highs and lows, it is not uncommon for us to desire to hear from God. We desire to know if He is real, we desire to know His will, and for many of us, we desire to know Him. I believe that these are good and healthy desires, but they do propose a foundational question. Does God speak? If so, can we hear or listen to Him.
According to the Bible, the very word of God, the answer is yes. In Psalm 19, scripture indicates a couple of ways that we can listen or hear from God. In verses 1-2 it states, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.”
In what theologians call, general revelation, God speaks through his creation. To all people, everywhere. When the Psalmist looks up into the sky, and see all of what is grand and beautiful, he concludes that it proclaims His glory, His majesty. It also reminds us that He is the Creator, and we are the created. A distinction that must be acknowledged. This recognition allows a proper perspective of who we are and gives us a longing to know more about who He is. What kind of God would create something as beautiful as this? Certainly, a God who is worthy of worship. But Psalm 19 doesn’t just tell us that God speaks through his creation alone, but also through his special revelation, his Word. Verses 7-10 state, “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; 8 the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; 9 the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. Ten more to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.”
Theologians refer to this word as the special revelation of God. Where through his word, he reveals with utmost detail of who He is and what he has and will do. It is why David calls the word of God sweeter than honey. The Apostle Paul would point out in one of his letters, that these sacred writings are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus (2 Tim 3:15). So, although we can listen to God through his creation, if we really want to know the God of it, we must go to his special revelation. His revelation that points you to Christ. It points you to the one who has come to live the life that you couldn’t live, points you to the one who died the death you deserved, the one who resurrected from the dead, and is currently sitting, ruling, and reigning in his Kingdom. The word that reveals the beauty of the Gospel. Therefore, if we have listened to God, may we respond in the same way that the psalmist responds: with humble repentance and faith. “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”
Luke Wartgow is pasor of Carson Valley Bible Church.