As we get to know someone we experience them with all our senses. We internalize not just how they look, but even more richly how they sound, feel and smell. When we lose someone we love, we’re often surprised that we not only miss seeing their faces, but even more poignantly, we long to hear the sound of their voice one more time. We yearn to sense their skin brushing up against our own. We bury our face in their clothes or their pillow in search of a lingering trace of their fragrance. Loving others is a full-on sensory experience.
And so is loving God. For that reason I thought it would be fun to journey through what the Bible offers to help us experience God with each of our senses. Perhaps these reminders will help us tune in and sense God more fully as we go through our days.
Learning to recognize God’s voice is important. We are reminded twice in Scripture to tune our hearts to hear him so we can be ready to respond to his call:
If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.Psalm 95: 8, Hebrews 3:15
As with every attribute of God the voice of the Lord is without earthly parallel, so in Psalm 29, David offers a plethora of analogies to express what he hears; God’s voice is:
- over the waters
- breaks the cedars
- strikes with flashes of lightning
- shakes the desert
- twists the oak
- strips the forest bare
This is the same voice that spoke the universe into being. The opening passages of Genesis proclaim:
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.Genesis 1: 3
As we come to know God, his voice becomes more and more familiar, and it leads us to him:
…his sheep follow him because they know his voice.John 10: 4
And his voice will be heard at the conclusion of this earthly story:
And I heard a voice from heaven like the roar of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder. The voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harpsRevelation 14:2
The voice of the Lord, like all of his attributes, is a perfect reflection of his nature and character. It induces fear in the hearts of those who rebel and reject him. It is dauntingly powerful. It is creative. And yet for those who love and seek him, his voice is as familiar as a father’s, as comforting as a mother’s–a tender reminder of both his power and love.
We can experience all of this today, as we listen more closely to the sound of the One who made us, the One who seeks us, the One who loves us.