His Master’s Voice



One of the most famous trademarks in modern advertising features a black and white dog sitting next to an old-fashioned gramophone, apparently listening as a disc plays.  The original painting, done by the dog’s owner, is entitled, “His Master’s Voice.”  The painting was sold to one of the early recording companies and over time this image became a logo for the RCA Company in the United States.  The image was marketed in such a way as to subtly suggest that RCA recordings were so lifelike that the dog could not distinguish between the sound of his master’s voice on the disc versus in real life.  Many years later, the Memorex cassette tape company tried to use this same idea with their, “Is it real or is it Memorex?” campaign.

The idea of recognizing and listening to one’s master’s voice is an important theme that has biblical application.  When God brought the people of Israel to Sinai to give them the law, He commanded Moses to consecrate the people so He could speak to them from the mountain.  In Ex. 19:18-19 the scripture says that God descended upon the mountain and spoke to Moses.  As God spoke, the people heard it as thunder.  In Ex. 20:18-19 the scripture says the people trembled when they heard the voice of God.  They begged Moses to ask God to speak to him, rather than to them, lest they die from hearing His voice.

From our perspective this may seem to be an odd reaction.  Many today glibly suggest that God speaks to them with revelations and messages for believers.  Others say they wish God would speak to them personally.  Yet, every time the scriptures speak of an occasion in which God spoke from heaven, it sounded like thunder and the audience was either terrified or left in awe by it.  The voice of God was not something they wished to hear.  Men like Moses, Joshua, and the prophets heard the voice of God and were not afraid, but they were extraordinary men serving in extraordinary roles.

Nevertheless, wise people wish to hear the voice of God still today.  They wish it because they know that the only way they can please Him is to hear His will so they can obey it.  The lives of godly people all around us demonstrate that God is still speaking to His people, but how is He doing it?  The answer is that He is speaking through His revealed word.  In 2 Tim. 3:16-17 Paul said, “All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (English Standard Version).

The key in this passage is the phrase “breathed out” in v. 16.  This means that every word in scripture came from God Himself.  In 2 Pet. 1:21 Peter said, “For no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”  Using the Holy Spirit as the medium to convey His will, God spoke to the inspired writers of both Old and New Testaments.  The things they wrote are the very words of God.  Therefore, when we read the scriptures, we are hearing our Master’s voice.  This is, by the way, the only way we can hear His voice until we stand before Him in judgment.  There is no need for God to actually speak to us today because the scriptures are “everything pertaining to life and godliness” (2 Pet. 1:3).

The scriptures are breathed out by God.  They make us complete and equip us for every good work.  They are everything pertaining to life and godliness.  They are our Master’s voice telling us how to live on earth, so we can live with Him in heaven in eternity.  Therefore, read the Bible, and listen to your Master’s voice.