Do you ever wonder why some people claim to hear the voice of the Lord on a regular basis and others don’t?
Is it because some are more ‘spiritual’ or closer to God than others? Do you sometimes feel ‘left-out’ or uncertain about yourself when you hear that some-one else received a Word from the Lord? You may have had the feeling that God is not speaking to you. I hope this article will give you a little more confidence in your faith.
Reading through the Bible we come across many people from different ‘backgrounds.’ Different people also act differently to situations and other people. We can divide the leading figures of the Old Testament divides in three basic categories: Kings, priests and prophets.
The largest part of the Old Testament is allocated to the prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel and Ezekiel. These were the ‘major’ prophets but there were also the minor prophets likes Hosea and Joel. These men had one thing in common: they heard the voice of the Lord. All these prophets would write something like: The Voice of the Lord that came to… or Thus saith the Lord.., or even The Word of God for…
We can with certainty say that these men heard the voice of the Lord, most probably in an audible manner or clear and distinct in through inspiration by the Holy Spirit. This type of conversation was not only for the prophets though. Moses and Abraham recorded that the Lord spoke to them. It was the function of the prophet to declare the Word of God to the people. The people of Israel were afraid of God and would rather let Moses speak to the Lord than seek His face for themselves.
God would choose prophets to declare coming events and give warning to the people. The prophets would also bring comforting words to the people.
It seems that these ‘chosen people’ had a closer walk with God than others. Some prophets, like Jeremia, would also be prosecuted because of the truth they spoke in comparison with the words of false prophets.
The second group of people would be those who had to fulfill a specific function in the House of God. They would constantly be in the presence of the Lord, in the Temple or Tabernacle. They were chosen to fulfill God’s commandments and to be mediators between God and man. The function of the priest was to bring the sacrifices on behalf of the people. They had to serve the people and they had to be committed in that service! The High Priest had the most dangerous job of all. He would worry about his life at least once a year on the day of Atonement when the sacrifice for sins of the whole nation would be brought before God. If he died when bringin the sacrifice into the Holy of holies the sin of the people was not pardoned!
We don’t read of many priests that heard the voice of the Lord. In the case of Samuel, Eli did not hear the voice of the Lord as Samuel did (1 Samuel 3). The Lord sent a prophet – a man of God (see 1 Samuel 2:27) – to give God’s judgment on his house, God did not speak to Eli (a priest) directly in the way He spoke to Samuel (a prophet).
Even in the case of Aaron, God preferred to speak to Moses, although Aaron was the chosen High Priest of his time!
The kings of the Old Testament also had a specific purpose in their day. The kings were not only there to rule and guide the people (yes, most of them failed miserably in this task) but also to provide for the office of the priest and the prophet!
We also do not read that God spoke directly to the kings, even David who was a man after God’s own heart, had to have the prophet to give him God’s Word.
In the New Testament we see that Jesus Christ had the office of King, Priest and Prophet he is also called an Apostle (Heb 3:1). This gives a clear indication that apostles should have the attribute of these three offices as well, and this is evident in the lives of Peter and Paul.
We read about the five-fold ministry in Ephesians 4 and therefore we see that the old offices of kings, priests and prophets is now classified as apostles, prophets, evangelists, teachers and pastor(sheperds). So maybe God is speaking to you in a way differently than He is speaking to your wife, husband or neighbor!
It would be good though, to take out the iPods fom our ears in order to hear God’s voice!
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