Let The Earth Hear His Voice
“Let The Earth Hear His Voice”
I still remember the first time I ever sang the hymn “To God Be The Glory”. The Kleinwood church in Houston had purchased new Songs of the Church books to replace our worn-out Sacred Selections. David Pickup was assigned to teach the congregation some of the newer songs and chose “To God Be the Glory” as one of his selections.
When we came to the chorus, the phrase that jumped off the page to me was the line: “Praise the Lord, let the earth hear His voice.” We are used to making requests in our songs and prayers that the Lord listen to our praises and hear our petitions. But this song calls on the earth and all it contains to give attention to the divine voice of their Creator.
We certainly hear His voice with regard to salvation. In fact, “To God Be The Glory” was originally entitled “Praise For Redemption”. When we read the inspired word, we are in awe of the “great things He has done” to provide for our pardon from sin. We can hear with great clarity His voice from heaven, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!” (Mark 9:7)
But that’s not the only way God communicates His existence and expressions of love (Ps. 19:1; rom. 1:20). Fanny J. Crosby, the blind hymnist, wrote this beautiful song during one of her famous “night watches”. Her experience testifies to the fact that the earth can hear the Lord’s voice in the beauty of His creation.
We hear His voice of power. Flooding along the Mississippi River. Tornadoes in Alabama and Missouri. Wildfires in Texas. These recent natural disasters remind us just how helpless we are to control the forces of nature. We have made remarkable advancements in the fields of communication, science, and technology, but we will ever be at the mercy of Him who spoke it all into being. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). And thousands of years later, this is still our Father’s world.
What this power demands is submission. In recognition of God’s power and might, we glorify Him when we revere His name and obey His will. The winds and the waves do. How much more ought we who are anchored in hope and washed in the blood? Let the earth hear His voice and bow before Him.
We hear His voice of provision. God not only created the heavens and the earth, He sustains their existence. I am reminded of this ever morning when I take my coffee out on the front porch and watch the world wake up. We have a bird feeder, but it’s more for our enjoyment than the birds’ nourishment. The Lord carefully looks after them and over all His creatures, great and small. Jesus said, “Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will.” (Matt. 10:29).
What this provision calls for is thanksgiving. Not only do we tend to blame God for things He does not do, we take credit for the great things He has done. When God provides, let Him hear our voices of thanksgiving. When we began to worry about food or drink or clothing, let us be reassured by His voice of provision in creation. He cares for the lilies of the field and the birds of the air. “Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” (Matt. 10:31). Let the earth hear His voice and trust Him.
We hear His voice of purpose. Sometimes, when looking at a breath-taking sunset or majestic mountainside, someone will say, “I don’t know how anyone could look at that and not believe in God.” That’s the point. We’re not supposed to. But what’s even more amazing is that the One who ordered and arranged the universe did so with you and me in mind. David marveled at the same truth. “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him” (Ps. 8:3-4)? God not only considered man, He crowned him.
What this purpose requires is fulfillment. Is there anything that has been created that does not have some function or use? When wolves were killed off in the Rocky Mountain National Park, the elk population reached dangerous levels and was deemed out of control. The solution? Reintroduce wolves back into the ecosystem. Let us not lose sight of our even greater purpose in the world. When we allow sin to cause us to “fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23), we are not fulfilling what we were put here to do. Let the earth hear His voice and serve Him.
“Praise the Lord, let the earth hear His voice! And give Him the glory, great things He hath done!” This we must do while we await the new heavens and the new earth.