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4. GLORIOUS IN VOICE
by Philip Owen

             Authorities tell us that deafness is a greater disability than blindness.   Anyone who has listened spellbound to the instruction of a great teacher, who has avoided disaster because of a timely shout of warning, anyone who has heard the sound of a symphony orchestra, has thrilled at an aria sung by a soprano or tenor, has heard the first cry of their newborn, or the tender words of a spouse will have little quibble with that assessment.  Isaiah understood the value of the “voice” in the spiritual realm when he penned this promise:  “the Lord shall cause his glorious voice to be heard” (30:30).

            God’s voice is glorious because only some hear it.  As our text proclaims, God must cause His voice to be heard.  Seven times in the message to the churches, God proclaims:  “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”  Not all have an ear that is attuned to the voice of the Spirit; the truth of God is spiritually discerned, “heard” by those to whom God gives ears.  “My sheep hear my voice . . . and they follow me” is how the Lord expressed it (John 10:27).  How precious and sweet it is to have spiritual ears to hear that voice.

            God’s voice is glorious because it is strong.  The din of living drowns out many voices.  Sometimes we need to communicate with someone but are prevented from doing so by the volume of environmental noise.  The Lord is not so restricted.  He can and will make Himself heard.  Few books so exalt the voice of the Lord as does the Book of the Revelation.  There we read that the Lord’s voice is “a great voice, as of a trumpet” (1:10); it is “a loud voice, as when a lion roareth” (10:2); and it is “a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder” (14:2).  A trumpet can be heard clearly and distinctly above the din of battle; a lion is said to be able to project his voice over 5 miles away; the noise of Niagara Falls or storm waves breaking on the ocean shore drowns out any other sound, as does the sound of thunder.  All these descriptions portray a God who is powerful enough to communicate above the tumult of life.

            God’s voice is glorious because it is soft.  In times of battle, tumult, confusion, and disaster, we take comfort in the glory of God’s strong voice.  But God need not “yell.”  Elijah did not hear God over the wind, the earthquake, and the fire.  No, afterward he heard “a still small voice” (I Ki. 19:12).  Just as the cooing of a baby or the whispered words of love from a spouse are glorious to the natural ear, so the Lord comes and whispers words of peace, comfort, encouragement, and love personally, intimately, individually.  The shout may provide direction for many in the heat of battle; but the whisper is for one in the heat of love.  The voice that commands is also the voice that comforts.  To be loved and loved intimately is the privilege of those who know the Lord.  He calls His own by name.

            God’s voice is glorious because He sings.  Zephaniah speaks in wonder:  “The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing” (3:17).  Such love overwhelms me.  God writes and sings a love song for His people, Israel.  Can we imagine He will do less for the church?  In language adumbrating the church, Isaiah says, “For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee:  and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee” (62:5).  What singing there will be—by the Lord!

            God’s voice is glorious because it saves.  Implicit in all that has preceded this is the fact that God calls us to salvation.  Though the term voice is not used in this regard, the famous passage in Romans setting forth God’s sovereignty in salvation attests to God’s foreknowledge and predestination and declares that “them he also called:  and whom he called, them he also justified:  and whom he justified, them he also glorified” (8:29, 30).  That call is effectual:  all who hear come; all who come are justified.  (Space does not permit us to discuss Psa. 29.  Please read it for yourself.)

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