How can we hear God’s voice?

Here’s an overdue post that didn’t fit in last week–hope that’s OK.

There he came to a cave and lodged in it. And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10 He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” 11 And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke 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. 12 And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. 13 And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

1 Kings 19

Simple thought: If God doesn’t come to Elijah in a quake, a fire, or a rushing wind, but rather in a whisper, how can we expect to hear him now? If we are constantly surrounded by noise–a constant stream of hurry, tasks, to-dos, and other things–would we even notice a whisper? Would it even register on our radar?

If God speaks in whispers we have to be attentive to his voice, seeking it out among the noise.

Are Job’s friends right or wrong?

As we continue to read into Job we have the problem of what to make of the words of Job’s three friends. It seems at times that their words are true and their conclusions right. They talk of the punishment that comes upon the wicked, but they then relate this to Job’s situation, and there it falls apart. The picture we are shown is one in which Job is innocent and that the distress that has come upon him is not a direct punishment for something he has done. So are his friends right or wrong?

It is a little more complex and a word that has helped me in reading it is “appropriate.” Whether one of the friends speaks something that is true, is it also an appropriate statement to make? Is it fitting to the situation and applicable for Job? I felt torn wanting to quote some of these friends when I came across some powerful verses knowing that they’re not quite in the right in their speech. Would I be quoting them out of context?

Again it is good to remember just because someone says something in the Bible doesn’t mean it is “biblical.” Characters from the Bible are not always the examples we remember them to be and the wisdom of Job’s wise friends is not always good. But there are instances where even the naive speak great truth without even knowing it. So ultimately, these three may say some insightful things, but use discernment in judging their words. The only one who is without fault in speech is God, who we’ll get to at the end.