Bible Study Guides – A History of Listening to God

September 4, 2016 – September 10, 2016

Key Text

“Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not” (Proverbs 8:33).

Study Help: Education, 13–19.


“A portion of their [Adam and Eve’s] time was to be occupied … in receiving the visits of angels, listening to their instruction, and in happy meditation.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, 25.


  • How did Adam and Eve hear God? Genesis 3:8, first part.

Note: “Each day’s labor brought them [Adam and Eve] health and gladness, and the happy pair greeted with joy the visits of their Creator, as in the cool of the day He walked and talked with them. Daily God taught them His lessons.” The Ministry of Healing, 261.

“Face-to-face, heart-to-heart communion with his Maker was [Adam’s] high privilege. Had he remained loyal to God, all this would have been his forever.” Education, 15.

  • How did Adam and Eve receive divine guidance after sin came into the world? Genesis 3:16–19.

Note: “Angels informed Adam that, as his transgression had brought death and wretchedness, life and immortality would be brought to light through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

“To Adam were revealed future, important events, from his expulsion from Eden to the Flood, and onward to the first advent of Christ upon the earth.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, 51.


  • How did Noah receive divine guidance? Genesis 6:13–21. How did Noah respond to God’s directions? Verse 22.

Note: “All the communion between heaven and the fallen race has been through Christ. It was the Son of God that gave to our first parents the promise of redemption. It was He who revealed Himself to the patriarchs. Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses understood the gospel. They looked for salvation through man’s Substitute and Surety. These holy men of old held communion with the Saviour Who was to come to our world in human flesh; and some of them talked with Christ and heavenly angels face to face. …

“It was Christ that spoke to His people through the prophets. … It is the voice of Christ that speaks to us through the Old Testament.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 366, 367.

  • How did God communicate with Abraham, and what was Abraham’s response? Genesis 22:1, 2, 11, 12.

Note: “God conferred great honor upon Abraham. Angels of heaven walked and talked with him as friend with friend.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 138.

“Heavenly beings still visit the earth as in the days when they walked and talked with Abraham and with Moses. Amid the busy activity of our great cities, amid the multitudes that crowd the thoroughfares and fill the marts of trade where from morning till evening the people act as if business and sport and pleasure were all there is to life, where there are so few to contemplate unseen realities—even here heaven has still its watchers and its holy ones. There are invisible agencies observing every word and deed of human beings. In every assembly for business or pleasure, in every gathering for worship, there are more listeners than can be seen with the natural sight. Sometimes the heavenly intelligences draw aside the curtain which hides the unseen world that our thoughts may be withdrawn from the hurry and rush of life to consider that there are unseen witnesses to all we do or say.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 176.


  • How did God guide Moses at the time when Israel should leave Egypt? Exodus 3:4, 10.

Note: “Moses held converse with Jesus face to face as one who speaketh with a friend.” The Review and Herald, March 2, 1886.

“It will baffle the keenest intellect to interpret the divine manifestation of the burning bush. It was not a dream; it was not a vision; it was a living reality—something that Moses saw with his eyes. He heard the voice of God calling to him out of the bush, and he covered his face, realizing that he stood in the immediate presence of God. God was conversing with humanity. Never could Moses describe the impression made upon his mind by the sight he then saw, and by the sound of the voice that spoke to him; but this impression was never effaced. Heaven came very near to him as, with reverent awe, he listened to the words, ‘I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’ (Exodus 3:6). What wondrous condescension for God to leave the heavenly courts, and manifest Himself to Moses, talking with him face to face, ‘as a man speaketh unto his friend’ (Exodus 33:11).” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1099.

  • How did Moses later converse with God? Exodus 33:18, 19.

Note: “Encouraged by the assurance of God’s presence, Moses drew still nearer and ventured to ask for still further blessings. ‘I beseech Thee,’ he said, ‘shew me Thy glory’ (Exodus 33:18). Think you that God reproved Moses for his presumption? No, indeed. Moses did not make this request from idle curiosity. He had an object in view. He saw that in his own strength he could not do the work of God acceptably. He knew that if he could obtain a clear view of the glory of God, he would be able to go forward in his important mission, not in his own strength, but in the strength of the Lord God Almighty.” The Review and Herald, May 11, 1897.

  • What are the different ways God used to communicate with Aaron? Exodus 6:13; 8:5; Leviticus 10:8.


  • How did God talk to the Israelites near Mount Sinai? Deuteronomy 5:4, 22.

Note: “God accompanied the proclamation of His law with exhibitions of His power and glory, that His people might never forget the scene, and that they might be impressed with profound veneration for the Author of the law, the Creator of heaven and earth. He would also show to all men the sacredness, the importance, and the permanence of His law.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 309.

  • What did they prefer instead of talking directly with God? Why? Deuteronomy 5:23–27.

Note: “The people of Israel were overwhelmed with terror. The awful power of God’s utterances seemed more than their trembling hearts could bear. For as God’s great rule of right was presented before them, they realized as never before the offensive character of sin, and their own guilt in the sight of a holy God. They shrank away from the mountain in fear and awe. The multitude cried out to Moses, ‘Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.’ The leader answered, ‘Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that His fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.’ The people, however, remained at a distance, gazing in terror upon the scene, while Moses ‘drew near unto the thick darkness where God was’ (Exodus 20:19–21).” Patriarchs and Prophets, 309, 310.

  • How did God talk to the Israelites through the centuries? Luke 1:70.

Note: “Through nature, through types and symbols, through patriarchs and prophets, God had spoken to the world.” The Desire of Ages, 34.

“Oh that thou, a nation favored above every other, hadst known the time of thy visitation, and the things that belong unto thy peace! … It is not merely servants, delegates, and prophets, whom thou hast refused and rejected, but the Holy One of Israel, thy Redeemer.” The Great Controversy, 22.


  • How does God want to talk to us now? Hebrews 1:2; John 5:39.

Note: “Adam and Eve received knowledge through direct communion with God; and they learned of Him through His works. … But by transgression man was cut off from learning of God through direct communion and, to a great degree, through His works. … Nature still speaks of her Creator. Yet these revelations are partial and imperfect. And in our fallen state, with weakened powers and restricted vision, we are incapable of interpreting aright. We need the fuller revelation of Himself that God has given in His written word.” Education, 16, 17.

  • What kind of personal experience does God want us to have with His word? Psalm 34:8; Jeremiah 15:16; 29:13.

Note: “There is an evidence that is open to all—the most highly educated, and the most illiterate—the evidence of experience. God invites us to prove for ourselves the reality of His word. … Instead of depending upon the word of another, we are to taste for ourselves.” Steps to Christ, 111.

“The Christian knows in Whom he has believed. He does not only read the Bible; he experiences the power of its teaching. …

“He can testify, ‘I needed help, and I found it in Jesus. … Do you ask why I believe in Jesus?—Because He is to me a divine Saviour. Why do I believe the Bible?—Because I have found it to be the voice of God to my soul.’ ” The Faith I Live By, 16.


1 How did sin change communication between God and Adam and Eve?

2 How did God communicate with the early patriarchs?

3 What did Moses realize at the burning bush, and how did he act?

4 How did God talk to Israel during Old Testament times?

5 How can we hear God today?

Copyright © 2015 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.