“Behold, these are but the outskirts of his ways,
and how small a whisper do we hear of him!
But the thunder of his power who can understand?” (26:14 ESV).
After Bildad’s brief lesson enlightening Job on God’s Dominion and Dread, Job is done; he is done being schooled by those who think they know.
“What a help you are to the weak!
How you have saved the arm without strength!
3 “What counsel you have given to one without wisdom!
What helpful insight you have abundantly provided!
4 “To whom have you uttered words?
And whose spirit was expressed through you?” (26:2-4).
“How you have helped the powerless!
How you have saved the weak!
3 How you have enlightened my stupidity!
What wise advice you have offered!
4 Where have you gotten all these wise sayings?
Whose spirit speaks through you? (26:2-4 NLT).
And Job now engages in the work of instructor as he reiterates the Dominion and Dread that belong to God, wrapping up this part of his discourse with the reality that all we see and experience of His might, His Dominion and Dread through His Creation is just the smallest inkling of all that He is; just a faint sound of His mighty thunderous voice, a mere Whisper of His Ways.
“Behold, these are the fringes of His ways;
And how faint a word we hear of Him!
But His mighty thunder, who can understand?” (26:14).
From Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance:
Faint/Whisper: “8102. שֵׁמֶץ šēmeṣ: A masculine noun referring to a whisper, a faint sound. It depicts a low, almost indiscernible speech or indicates hearing a snippet or a part of an oral statement (Job 4:12). Even God’s mighty deeds are said to be a mere whisper of what a full display of His wisdom and power would be (Job 26:14).”
Consider the Whisper of His Ways
Although His Whisper is but a faint sound, it resounds more intensely than any hurricane, any earthquake, any raging fire.
So He said, “Go forth and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord was passing by! And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing. 13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. And behold, a voice came to him… (1 Kings 19:11-13).
We only hear what He has enabled us to apprehend. What we know of His vastness is merely a Whisper of the magnitude of His mighty ways. Although Solomon, the wisest man who had ever lived, set out to understand and discover His Ways, he ultimately conceded that his quest was a decidedly unattainable endeavor.
When I gave my heart to know wisdom and to see the task which has been done on the earth (even though one should never sleep day or night), 17 and I saw every work of God, I concluded that man cannot discover the work which has been done under the sun. Even though man should seek laboriously, he will not discover; and though the wise man should say, “I know,” he cannot discover, (Ecclesiastes 8:16-17).
Because the truth is, He has only revealed what He has deemed necessary for us to know in order to walk in His Ways.
The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law, (Deuteronomy 29:29).
He has only given us a mere snippet of His Wisdom and His Ways, for we are totally incapable of comprehending His unfathomable Ways. Why would we ever think our finite minds had the capability to grasp anything beyond a mere Whisper of His Ways?
Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! 34 For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? 35 Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again? 36 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen, (Romans 11:33-36).
But His Whispers can be difficult to hear and laborious to decipher; sometimes impossible.
He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God,” (John 8:47).
When we are born again through faith in Christ, we are born into the family of God. We can be assured that we are of God and able to hear His Words for He has given us His Holy Spirit sealing our eternal position and guaranteeing His promise.
In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, (Ephesians 1:13).
And anything we do hear, anything we are able to comprehend is the work of the Spirit of God as He Whispers of His Ways to our born-again spirit man.
But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. 15 But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. 16 For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ, (1 Corinthians 2:16).
How do we respond to the Whisper of His Ways?
His power and might reveal the Whisper of His Ways. This is often referred to as His general revelation that is discernible through natural means and is revealed to all of mankind. Without the use of human speech, His creation Whispers to every human under the sun of His magnificent glory.
The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.
2 Day to day pours forth speech,
And night to night reveals knowledge.
3 There is no speech, nor are there words;
Their voice is not heard, (Psalm 19:1-3).
But far greater than His general revelation is His special revelation, specifically communicated to us through His Word.
The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
8 The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
9 The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether, (Psalm 19:7-9).
In His Word, the Whisper of His Ways is more clearly disclosed. When we have placed our faith in His everlasting covenant through the blood of Jesus Christ, He invites us to incline our ear that we would listen to Him for our very life.
“Incline your ear and come to Me.
Listen, that you may live;
And I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
According to the faithful mercies shown to David,” (Isaiah 55:3).
The Whisper of His Ways are clearly conveyed through His Son.
God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. 3 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power, (Hebrews 1:1-3).
And He breathes out the Whisper of His Ways in every word of His Living Word.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, (2 Timothy 3:16 NIV).
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart, (Hebrews 4:12).
So, while we don’t always understand everything, while we can’t always clearly discern every Whisper of His Ways, we must set our hearts to pay attention so that we do not drift away from the Truth.
For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it, (Hebrews 2:1).
Psalm 119 is a tremendous Psalm; 176 verses about the power and impact His Word will have on us if we will but set our minds to hear the Whisper of His Ways.
I have not turned aside from Your ordinances,
For You Yourself have taught me.
103 How sweet are Your words to my taste!
Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!…
129 Your testimonies are wonderful;
Therefore my soul observes them.
130 The unfolding of Your words gives light;
It gives understanding to the simple…
147 I rise before dawn and cry for help;
I wait for Your words, (Psalm 119:102-103, 129-130, 147).
Let us determine to make His Word a priority first thing every morning, to listen, to hear what He would Whisper to us in His Word, that we would be kept from falling into the foolish ways of those who do not know His Word.
I will hear what God the Lord will say;
For He will speak peace to His people, to His godly ones;
But let them not turn back to folly, (Psalm 85:8).
And what He does share with us, is not meant to be kept to ourselves. If we have been so privileged to hear His Whisper, let us depend on His Holy Spirit to courageously proclaim the Whisper of His Ways.
“Therefore do not fear them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 27 What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops,” (Matthew 10:26-27).