This is Part 2 of 5 parts answering the question, “Is God indifferent to the suffering that He allows?” in the larger question, “Why does a loving God allow suffering?” Parts 3-5 will be posted on succeeding days.
God is Not Silent
In the ancient world of the Old Testament, there were a variety of way in which God communicated to man- including His audible voice. The writer to the Hebrews wrote,
God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds.” (Heb. 1:1-2 NKJ)
For example, God spoke directly to Adam before and after the Fall, for there was no other means of communication. God also spoke to Abraham and established the Abrahamic Covenant, promising a land, a seed and a blessing to him and his progeny (Gen. 12:1-3). God spoke to Joseph through a dream that one day his family would bow down to him (Gen. 37:5). God spoke directly to Samuel the Prophet regarding who would be the king to follow Saul,
Now the LORD said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go; I am sending you to Jesse the Bethlehemite. For I have provided Myself a king among his sons.” 2 And Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me.” And the LORD said, “Take a heifer with you, and say, `I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.’ 3 “Then invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; you shall anoint for Me the one I name to you.” 4 So Samuel did what the LORD said, and went to Bethlehem. (1 Sam. 16:1-4 NKJ)
Other ways God communicated included through the Urim and Thummim of the high priest, through the prophets (1 Sam. 28:6), through casting lots (Josh 18:6-10), and through the Angel of the Lord (Gen. 16:7-11).
God communicated in the New Testament times through the apostles. Once it was completed, God had provided all the instruction we need to know. His Word is sufficient (2 Cor.3:5,6). Furthermore, because His Word is all sufficient and He wants us to live by faith, we have enough information to depend on Him as He leads us in His holy will. The holy will is obedience to God’s commandments in His Word with freedom to make individual choices and preferences. Within that holy will, God the Holy Spirit will guide us in understanding how we can best please the Lord by faith, both to believe that He is and to walk in His will (John 16:13; Heb. 11:6; Eph. 5:15-17).
So, while God does not audibly speak during this age, He has given all that we need to grow in our faith and increase in our strength of trusting Him. He has not left us as orphans with no guardian. He is our guardian and we are His children (Eph. 1:4; Jn. 1:12). He will never leave us or forsake us (Heb. 13:5). We only need to hold onto the promises He communicated in His Word and He will see us through every difficulty (1 Tim. 6:20).
Part 3 will be posted tomorrow.