The Bible is often cited not only as a history of the Jewish nation, but it is also often cited as a general historical record and as a repository of the “Word of God.” We will explore here the Bible’s own references to claims that God directly spoke to individuals. The scriptures are of the New International Version.
And God spoke to Israel in a vision at night and said, “Jacob! Jacob!” “Here I am,” he replied.
1 Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. 3 So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”
1 Samuel 3:1-10
1 The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli. In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions.
2 One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. 3 The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was. 4 Then the Lord called Samuel.
Samuel answered, “Here I am.” 5 And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”
But Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down.
[Moses, Samuel and various prophets reported to the people that which they “heard” the Lord tell them.]
1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
14 The Lord confides in those who fear him;
he makes his covenant known to them.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.
1 Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite. 2 “Has the Lord spoken only through Moses?” they asked. “Hasn’t he also spoken through us?” And the Lord heard this.
3 (Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.)
4 At once the Lord said to Moses, Aaron and Miriam, “Come out to the Tent of Meeting, all three of you.” So the three of them came out. 5 Then the Lord came down in a pillar of cloud; he stood at the entrance to the Tent and summoned Aaron and Miriam. When both of them stepped forward, 6 he said, “Listen to my words:
“When a prophet of the Lord is among you,
I reveal myself to him in visions,
I speak to him in dreams.
7 But this is not true of my servant Moses;
he is faithful in all my house.
8 With him I speak face to face,
clearly and not in riddles;
he sees the form of the Lord.
No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.
No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father.
1 John 4:12
No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
1In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. 3The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. 4So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.
2 Peter 1
16We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”] 18We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.
19And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. 21For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
Have you ever heard the voice of God?
If so, how did you know it was the voice of God?
Do you know of anyone who claims to have heard the voice of God?
How was that perceived?
What was the message?
What difference did it make?
What is the difference is there, if any, between God speaking and God inspiring?
How do you test the claims of God’s will, or your own perception of God speaking if not with some form of the Wesleyan Quadrilateral?
How does the Wesleyan Quadrilateral aid in, or facilitate, our hearing the voice of God? Interpreting it? Understanding it? Acting upon it?
Do you perceive God’s Will for GLBT persons? For the church community regarding those individuals among us?
What do you hear?
How are we called to act upon that?