Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets (Hebrews 1:1, ESV)
The book of Hebrews opens up with the remarkable verse above summing up the essence of how God spoke to the nation of Israel in the Old Testament. The key words in this verse which we will briefly review are “at many times,” “in many ways” “to our fathers” and “by the prophets.”
God spoke at various times to the people of Israel. He still speaks to us at different times today. Contrary to what is popularly taught, God is NOT constantly speaking to you. He is not a God that is speaking 24/7 to you. However, the truth being communicated in these teachings is that God speaks to us multiple times. You should be attentive and tuned in to hear Him when He speaks.
Secondly, He speaks to us in many ways. This is so crucial. He spoke to the prophets through dreams, visions, similitudes etc. Remember that God can speak to you in different ways. Closely related to this is the truth that He spoke “by the prophet”. God almost always spoke to the nation of Israel through the prophets. There are only very few instances that He spoke directly to individuals who were not prophets. The prophets were the voice of God to the people.
This takes us to the next related truth “ our fathers” and “long ago” in the verse. He was stating what happened “long ago” in contrast to what was happening to them at the present. God had changed the way He spoke to His people. He still speaks to us at many times and in many ways, but through a different means. The biggest change is that God’s Spirit that was in the prophets is now inside every single believer as the prophet Joel in Joel 2:28 prophesied. God can speak directly to the believer today. That does not mean the office of a prophet is no longer valid. It simply means the ROLE of the prophet in the New Testament has changed.
In summary, the Lord speaks to you at many times and in many ways, and one of such ways is still through the prophetic gift but this is no longer as exclusive as it was in the Old Testament. You have to learn to listen to His voice.
Why was it not possible for God to speak directly to the ordinary Jew in the OT who was not a prophet?
APPLY THE WORD
Do you recognize the ways the Father speaks to you? Do you know His voice, in your mind, thoughts, feelings or even natural ears? Are you making use of the prophetic gift in the Body of Christ which God gave to assist us in hearing His voice? Are you able to tell if God is the One speaking to you through another person or if such persons with a supposed “prophetic word” are merely saying what is coming from their own mind and heart? These are pertinent questions. The GREATEST thing to do to prepare for and grow in hearing God’s voice in your own heart or through other people or things around you is to KNOW HIM PERSONALLY. It is the voice YOU KNOW that you RECOGNIZE. Keep growing in intimacy with the Father through the Spirit!
Ask the Lord to teach you how to grow in this critical ability to hear His voice.