Did you ever wonder how God's voice sounded to the ancients? When the Bible says, "God spoke" toAbraham, how did Abraham know it was God speaking?
The Bible rarely tells us how the people of Old Testament times "heard" God speak. It just says God spoke, and leaves it at that. It's as if God assumes people would know He was speaking, and what He was saying, without any further explanation.
But I don't always know, so God has obviously left an important piece of information out of the Scriptures.
Or maybe not. Maybe there's something left out of my way of hearing God instead. Maybe something is screwy with my way of perceiving reality, as hard to believe as that may be.
If I asked him, "Abraham, what made you think it was God speaking when you came up with that crazy idea that your descendants would outnumber the sands of the sea?" he would probably look at me like I was the crazy one. He would call me a meshuggeneh. "What's the matter with you?" he'd say. "You got goyim ears or something?"
Yes. I have goyim ears. Ears that are more attuned to the science teacher, or the ivory tower academic, than to God. Ears that have been trained to believe that only physical sounds that beat on those little bones in my head can connect me with reality.
I am sometimes amazed at how much my worldview is a product of the secular humanistic culture I live in. Even as a follower of Jesus, one who spends time meditating and often believes God is speaking to me, I find it hard to trust what I think I "hear" from God. I have slipped into believing that only physical ears can hear, and that knowing is a brain/mind thing, and nothing else.
In Job, the oldest book of the Bible, God asks a question: "Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts? or who hath given understanding to the heart?" (Job 38:36 KJV)
The answer is obvious. And when I answer that question truthfully, the question I wanted to ask Abraham. . . what was it again? That question is forgotten. Makes no sense.
It's not up to me to figure out how God speaks. I'll leave that up to Him, and just listen with an open, trusting heart. I'll let him slip his truth past my human understanding and place it gently into my inward parts. That's the only place the Truth will do me any good anyway.