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 The phrase is first found in Genesis 3:8. Adam and Eve heard “the voice of the LORD” as He walked in the Garden of Eden, as He often did, talking to Adam. But, the pair hid away because they had sinned.

The ‘voice’ of the LORD, His qowl, literally means God’s voice; this is reinforced by other meanings, such as ‘sound’ and ‘noise’. It is the same voice that calls out the names of every person who is saved. God calls the name out personally and loudly (as the root of qowl signifies). He is not remote.

Adam used to walk with God and talk with Him. Now, he and Eve hid themselves “from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.” These are words describing an actual, physical situation – God physically walking in a garden! The word ‘voice’ tells us that the sound came from a real person. The word “presence”, paniym, is also literal; it means to be face-to-face with a real person.

Thus, the “voice of the LORD” refers to the real voice of a real God, One Who walked with Adam. The same voice and same God promised the Hebrews that He “will put none of these diseases upon thee”. Today, charismatics, who love to twist scripture, make this apply to every disease that can affect Christians! But, no – they fail to continue the text: it says “which I brought upon the Egyptians”. In other words, God would not harm the Hebrews as He harmed the Egyptians, with plagues.

There was a specific command, however, if the Hebrews were to avoid the same fate as their former Egyptian masters: they had to obey every word of God, keep His law, and do what was right. They “must hearken to the voice of the LORD”! The same condition applies today, at a time when governments and perverse people demand that we cast away God’s commands.

This echoes a situation found in Deuteronomy 8:20, where the Hebrews were warned not to listen to these people: “so shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the LORD your God.” Wicked people and rulers are all around us; they destroy God’s word and call upon us to do likewise if we wish to remain unmolested by their human laws. But, we are told by God’s word that if we do that, we will ourselves be destroyed by God!

Later, we find the same command in 1 Samuel 12:15, “But if ye will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall the hand of the LORD be against you, as [it was] against your fathers.” The voice of the LORD is His direct command, coming from a real God. His hand is a symbol of His power, might and anger, yad, which is against us if we reject His voice.

Even later, David wrote (Psalm 29:3): “The voice of the LORD [is] upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the LORD [is] upon many waters”. The voice of God is now used as a symbol of His presence, which can be overwhelming. It is found in “many waters”, as loud and powerful as thunder and mighty enough to melt anything before it. “The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.” (Psalm 29:4). God’s word is not to be despised or rejected, as it is today. We cannot join with those evil people whose aim is to destroy God, His people and His word! The same voice they now reject will command their final end in hell.

Throughout Psalm 29 we find the same phrase time and again: “the voice of the LORD”. David understood the power of God and what He commands. David was a mighty king, and yet, unlike arrogant leaders of today, he bowed in humility before the Lord and obeyed what He said.

We see this fact in the New Testament (Acts 7:31): “When Moses saw [it], he wondered at the sight: and as he drew near to behold [it], the voice of the Lord came unto him.” This was when he saw the burning bush in the wilderness and approached it out of curiosity. God’s voice boomed out “I am the God of thy fathers…” “Then Moses trembled, and durst not behold.” He was too afraid to look at the bush. God commanded him to remove his shoes, because he was now on holy ground (because God was there). We, too, must have this sense of holiness.

The voice of God is now found in His word, the Bible. We ignore it at our peril. If we are ignorant concerning His word, we are open to deception, doubt and fear. And we will not stand before evil men when they accuse us. Yet, the voice of God is more powerful than any man, or even the whole world. We must obey the voice of the LORD, for He alone is worthy, not only of praise but of obedience.

There is a very simply equation: obey God and live, disobey and die. Or, listen to men more than God, and you will know sin and destruction… you will perish. Is this what you want as a believer? If we are saved, we will enter Heaven… but who wants God to repeat what we have sinfully done, before everyone on judgment day? Let us leave this earth righteously, joyously, with spiritual truth and dignity! I personally know of some who, claiming Christ, continue to sin. God help them if they do not repent before they die. Their sins will be repeated to them by the Father in heaven and they will lose many crowns.

The voice of the LORD is the real voice of a real God. He can speak to us sweetly and tenderly when we obey, but we will hear His wrath as the sound of thunder if we do not. Listen to His voice and live!

© April 2011

Published on www.christiandoctrine.com

Bible Theology Ministries - PO Box 415, Swansea, SA5 8YH
United Kingdom