Have you ever noticed that when you read the Bible, you tend to imagine a tone of voice? Reading some passages, like Psalm 23, we imagine a warm, loving tone. Reading other passages we can almost hear disapproval or anger. Actually, the tone of voice we imagine is most helpful—or harmful—when it comes to really understanding God’s Word.
Take for instance those verses that conclude this fascinating passage on God’s rest. I suspect that most folks tend to hear a grim, threatening tone when they read that God’s Word is sharper than a sword. That it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart, and that “nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight.”
But if you do imagine a threatening tone as you read, you’ll miss the message completely!
You see, the writer has been telling us that God has a wonderful gift for us—an inner rest and peace that you and I experience as we respond to His voice when He speaks to us in our today.
It sounds grand. Until we ask, where are we to hear that voice? How will we recognize it? Does God speak to me, personally, and not to everyone?
The simple answer is in the Bible. That book, which is rich in truth revealed for all mankind, is also God’s living and active Word to the individual believer. How can that be? Very simply, God’s Word, while written by men, is a supernatural channel through which He speaks personally to the individual.
The Word of God is so sharp a scalpel that it is able to surgically dissect our inmost being. The living, active Word of God assesses even our thoughts and attitudes. Nothing is hidden from God, and through the Word He has given us He penetrates our consciousness, to speak to each of us as an individual.
The voice of God is heard in the Word of God. And the Word that is His voice echoes in sermons and classes and in Christians’ conversations. As we are sensitive to God and seek His guidance, we hear His voice speaking directly to our hearts. As we respond to the voice we hear, we find the promise fulfilled in our hearts. Today, we experience His rest and find inner peace.
Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your heart and miss promised peace.
“Starting afresh patiently and in good cheer and hope is the mark of the Christian. One of the helpful definitions of Christianity is this: the Christian life is a series of new beginnings.”—John B. Coburn