In plays, dramatic readings and sermons, we often hear God’s voice as loud and booming. The actor playing God gets a louder microphone, the reader puffs out his chest trying to make his voice more resonate, the pastor does his best body builder, macho-man impression.
Yet God is also described as whispering (like in 1 Kings 19). So why (when God’s tone is not specified) do we automatically assign the booming voice instead of His whisper? I think in some places where we assign the boom, maybe He was actually whispering. Why do I hear God’s whisper when others assign the boom?
- Whispering gets our attention. When someone whispers – it forces you to give their words your full concentration. A woman I once worked with in children’s’ ministry would walk into a noisy, chatty classroom and begin speaking in a very low voice. The children became curious and attentive… What’s she trying to say?
When God whispers, the ones straining to hear are those who have ears to do so.
- Whispering offers a sense of intimacy. What was God tone when he answered Job’s deep, gut-wrenching cries from the depth of his pain? Did God boom out His answer for Job’s callous, self-righteous friends to hear too… or did He whisper it to Job from the whirlwind? We’re not really told. But go through those chapters and read them aloud to yourself in the whisper of One whispering to His broken, anguished child and see what you think.
- Perhaps we often depict God with a whisper because we think it best conveys his power and awesomeness. But in some places, maybe whispering does this better than a shout. God’s whisper comes from the One who knows He does not need to shout in order to be heard and obeyed.
Do I have ears to hear? Do I seek out His intimacy? Do I listen and obey quickly and willingly?
In short… am I one to whom God can whisper?