Direct and Divine

Lots of folks believe we still receive direct revelation from God yet, oddly enough, no one will commit to His voice being a base or a tenor. The misinformation that passes for latter-day prophecies, especially end-of-time speculations (cf. Mark 13:32), verifies the fact that false prophets may be hearing voices but they do not come from God. I personally think we are blessed that God does not communicate with us directly.

First, in nearly every instance in the Old Testament, when God spoke directly to some quaking soul, it was a shocking, traumatic experience. Modern day augurs frequently refer to God’s presence as a warm, fuzzy feeling of contentment and security. That is not the picture the Bible paints. Abram’s first reaction to God’s voice was to fall on his face (Genesis 17:3). When “the glory of the Lord” appeared before Ezekiel, he couldn’t even get up until “the Spirit entered (him) and set (him) on (his) feet” (Ezekiel 3:24). Even second hand, God’s glory was so brightly reflected on Moses’ face when he came down from the quarantined mountain that the children of Israel were shaking in their sandals and begged him to cover the spine-chilling spectacle (Exodus 34:29-33). Evidently, when people experienced communication with God, it was not a casual “Yo God, Wha’s up?” but more like “Oh Lord, don’t let me die!”

Second, if God’s positive revelations to humanity were enough to scare a person half to death, I would imagine a negative declaration would finish off the other half. The impact of scriptures like “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord” (Romans 12:19) and “our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29) is lost on those who do not read enough Old Testament to appreciate people’s reaction when God’s wrath became real. It was speedy, decisive, and final. Look at examples like Nadab and Abihu (Leviticus 10:1-2), Korah (Numbers 16:31-33), and Sennacherib’s army (Isaiah 37:33-36). Jeroboam’s epitaph aptly describes God’s wrath: “and the LORD struck him, and he died” (2 Chronicles 13:20); end of story!

If we are paying attention here, the lesson is not that God’s responsiveness has diminished with the written Word but that He “is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). Don’t mistake direct-Divine silence for disregard; revealed revelation carries equal clout and is still as direct and as Divine. If you are ignoring His Word, know this: “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31).

Jeff Sweeten