God's Voice

What is God's voice like?

What does God's voice sound like? We often think of it as some booming voice from the sky. What does the Bible say about it? Scripture says more than you might think.

God's powerful voice

The book of Job goes into quite a bit of detail about how it can be like a booming voice from the sky. Job's friend, Elihu, describes God's voice as a roar and rumbling that comes from his mouth(Job. 37:2). He goes on to describe God's voice as thundering and majestic(v4-5). Job later actually does hear God's voice out of a storm(38:1). The book later again compares God's voice to thunder(40:9).

When the Israelites were at Mt. Sinai, they heard firsthand the mighty voice of God. Mt. Sinai blazed with fire and God spoke from the fire(Deu. 4:11-12, 36; 5:23). Moses asks if anyone has heard the voice of God and lived(Deu. 4:33). In fact, God's voice was so overwhelming to the Israelites they were amazed they lived(Deu. 5:24-26). The Israelites were so afraid of hearing God's voice after seeing lightning and hearing thunder and seeing the smoke on Mt. Sinai they pleaded for Moses to speak to God(Exo. 20:18-19). God was not trying to frighten the Israelites but show his power and awesomeness.

Later in Israel's history, King David described the voice of God. In a psalm he wrote he describes God's voice as majestic and powerful(Psa. 29:4). In another David also compares it to hailstones and coals of fire(Psa. 18:13).

The prophet Isaiah also talks about hearing God's voice. In his commission, he had a vision of God in the temple and heard God ask who to send as a prophet(Isa. 6:8). Isaiah also describes it as majestic(Isa. 30:30).

The apostle John heard Jesus' voice when he wrote Revelation on the island of Patmos(Rev. 1:10). He describes it as loud and like a trumpet. Interestingly, trumpets were used in those times to gather people.

God's softer voice

Other times God's voice is far quieter. Samuel heard God calling for him in the tabernacle(1 Sam. 3:2-8). At first he thought someone in the tabernacle was calling him. Nothing indicates Samuel was terrified like the Israelites were at Mt. Sinai.

The prophet Elijah also heard a softer version of God's voice(1 Kings 19:9-13). Elijah was fleeing after the Israelites rejected God's covenant and all the other prophets were killed. God spoke to Elijah and asked Elijah why he was in the wilderness. Elijah was not afraid when God spoke to him as God was not trying to frighten him but encourage him.

God speaks to us through the Holy Spirit as believers

Words of God that were spoken by prophets are now spoken by Christ(Heb. 1:1-2). Now as believers the Holy Spirit dwells in us and is our connection to God(Rom. 5:5; Eph. 1:13; 1 The. 1:5-7; Gal. 2:20). We will rarely, if ever, hear an actual voice but feel moved to do something we know deep down is right. If we feel this voice, we should not ignore it or harden our hearts(Heb. 3:15).

Last updated 4/20/2012