The Voice Of God
The mode or method of God’s existence, is incapable of full and exact definition, notwithstanding the fact that thousands of thoughtful and serious minds have attempted it. Christian thinkers are, however, practically agreed; still even among them when pressed to close quarters, there is a wide diversity of opinion on minor parts of the subject.
The Scriptures do not attempt an exact definition of God, nor attempt to prove His existence, and for the most part simply assume both the fact, as well as the method of His existence.
God’s intellectual nature and qualities are to be learned chiefly from analogy, intuition, experience and personal revelation. We are compelled to reason from our own intellectual or spiritual qualities up to God. Nor does this seem to be either an inaccurate or an unscriptural method, for we learn that” God made man in His own image, in the image of God created He him.” That is, I take it, man is a miniature God. As a babe is to a man, the distance only being greater, so man is to God. As a drop of water is to the ocean, or a ray of light to the orb of day, so are man’s spiritual or intellectual qualities to his Creator’s. Hence the qualities I possess, such as reason, memory, will, choice, perception, love and language in a limited degree, are possessed by God in an unlimited degree. As David said, “He that planted the ear, shall He not hear? He that formed the eye shall He not see?” and I might add, on the same method of reasoning, and as appropriate to my argument, shall not He that gave us the power to communicate our thoughts to others, Himself possess the power to communicate His thoughts to His creatures?
Not only are we all agreed that God has the power to communicate His mind to His creatures, but also on the fact that such a communication has actually been made, and been repeated many times over, as recorded in the Scriptures.
From this basis of agreement, many divergent theories have been conceived and no wonder; for the admitted fact that God has a language in which He can talk to man, and that men have actually conversed with Him, suggests an almost infinite number of questions, several of which we now refer to.
Do the Holy Scriptures contain an account of every communication of God with Scriptural characters? For instance, do they record all the conversations between God and our first parents? Do they contain an account of each time Jehovah talked to the men mentioned in the Scriptures, who walked with Him? Have we a record of each time God talked with Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Samuel, David, and the Prophets? Was not John the Baptist, while in the wilderness, instructed in his great mission personally by God? If not, from whom did he get his mission and his message? And yet, the Scriptural account of John’s training, is a very meager one. Are all the communications of God to Jesus written down in the Book? Do we know all God said to the Apostles? To ask such questions, is to answer them with a decided, “No.”
The Scriptures contain all that is necessary for salvation, and there is no lack in them in this regard, and this, I take it, is their supreme purpose, but they are not, and do not claim to be a complete history of all God said to the holy men whose names are there recorded. Only such essential facts and sample messages as were needed for future generations, have been preserved to us. In this, it is doubtless the same as in the case of Jesus, for John in his Gospel says, “And there are also many other things, which Jesus did, the which if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.”
Another interesting question from the admitted fact that God can and has conversed with men is, Are the men mentioned in the Scriptures the only men God has conversed with?
When Abram in his native home, Ur in Chaldea, was told by God to leave that country for another, which God would show him; was he at that time, the only man of earth’s millions for whom God had a message? There is no Scriptural character or contemporary with Abram, to whom God spake, so far as the written record goes, but it is an impossible feat for my judgment and reason to suppose that there were no others.
When the Hebrew nation was as yet confined to Jacob and his shepherd sons, was there no other godly boy besides Joseph among the numerous families of the earth that God spake to? It must be that there were many of them. To say otherwise were almost a reflection upon the success of God’s purpose in drowning the world.
That God did not purpose to confine His communications to Abram and his seed, is proved by that strange character Melchisidec, who as well as being a Priest of the Most High God, was also King of Salem, and therefore a Priest in the same country. The Scriptures do not attempt to give any detailed history of these Salemites, nor of their methods of worship, but from the account we have of one of their number, God clearly talked to them.
There are many other references in the Scriptures to individuals not of Abrahamic descent, or properly Scriptural characters, who served the true God, and hence to whom God must have communicated Himself.
If the religious history of the ancient nations were accurately recorded, it would be similar to the record of the Hebrew nations, so far as the communication of God to the Spiritual is concerned. The only distinction that I can make, is that God chose the Israelites for special purposes, and chiefly that from this nation, the earth’s Savior was to come. It will be seen, that the opinion I am expressing, was a discovery to Peter in the case of the Roman General, Cornelius, and Peter in evident surprise declares, “Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: but in every nation, he that feareth Him and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him.”
It must be that many of the old philosophers of Greece and Rome, were in communication with the Unseen God, notwithstanding the fact that they thought of Him as many, instead of the One Supreme Being. The marvelous men who were the founders of the great religions of the earth, each claimed to be taught of God, and to my mind, certain of their claims are well founded, notwithstanding the errors contained in these systems. Some of them were men of pure characters, judging them by the standards of the age in which they lived; and most of their systems teach a morality that compares favorably with the morality of the Scriptures.
While God intends that Christianity, like the stone cut out of the mountain without hands, is to roll on until it fills the whole earth, yet it is a fact, that there is much in non-Christian systems of religion, which is of God, and harmonizes with the truth as taught by Jesus. This to me is an evidence that the same God who has talked with us, has communicated with the men of these systems also.