The Sound of God

by Amanda Hines on June 16, 2021

“They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.”   Genesis 3:8

I recently read a devotion focusing on this verse in Daily Feast:  Meditations from Feasting on the Word.  The devotion called the reader to imagine the sound of God walking in the garden.  We often talk about seeing God at work in the world, but how often do we reflect on the sound of God?  Would Adam and Eve have heard footsteps?  Would they have heard the sound of someone brushing against the bushes?  This devotion made me think:  Would God sound like us…or would God’s movement be different?  Would it be more like the movement of the wind…or the splash of rain?  Would God’s sound be that of peace or power?

I got out my Bible and did a little research.  Ezekiel 43:2 tells us that God’s “voice is like the sound of many waters.”  In I Chronicles 14:15, God tells David to listen for “the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees” before going into battle because that will be the sound of God going before him.  Remember, the voice of God booms from the burning bush in the call of Moses in Exodus 3.  In Exodus 19:16 and 20:18, God’s presence is announced with the sound of thunder and a trumpet, as well as the sight of lightening.  In Deuteronomy 4:11 and 5:22-24, God speaks out of fire.  God’s presence is evident by an earthquake and a storm in Judges 5:4-5.  In I Kings 19, Elijah listens for God in several of the “traditional” sounds – wind, earthquake, and fire-- but Elijah hears God in the “sound of sheer silence.” 

In the New Testament, the voice of God echoes in the words of Jesus.  God is in the silence of a storm calmed by Jesus.  God is in the words of compassion spoken by Jesus and his disciples.  God is in the sound of the tearing of the curtain in the temple and again in an earthquake at the crucifixion in Matthew 27:51.  

The sound of God comes in many ways.  How do you hear God’s movement in your life?  What sounds remind you that God reaches into the world with blessings and love?  Is God in the sound of rain on a tin roof or in the roar of the ocean?  Does God speak to you in the sound of the breeze rustling the leaves of a tree or the woodpecker hunting for food?  Is the sound of God echoed in the words of compassion from a friend?  How does God speak in the places where children are overwhelmed by the noise of crowded schools?  What sound does God make in the empty homes of lonely shut ins?   God still walks in gardens … and in the inner cities…. and behind guarded walls… and on the stormy waters of the world.  How do you hear God’s movement?  What does God sound like?

Adam and Eve knew the sound of God in the garden, and they were ashamed.  They hid.  I invite you to listen for the sound of God this week, but please do not hide.  Even when we must confess, God comes to us full of compassion and hope for us.  I encourage you to listen for God’s movement so that you will recognize God in our world much like sheep recognize and follow the voice of their shepherd (John 10:27).  To hear the sound of God is to hear a reminder of the mercy and unconditional love God has for us.

It is a joy to be one of your pastors.


Tags: sound of god; listening to god


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