Article 44 : Thoughts from the cross trainer - THE POWER OF SOUND
Yes, I know, we’re beginning to come out of lockdown and you’ve had ENOUGH of quizzes, but just indulge me and let me pose this question to you. “What do the letters, ESWL, stand for?” Answers on a postcard, please!
Well, it could be ‘Eat Sugar With Limes’ or what about ‘Every Sinner Will Live’ – sounds a bit more spiritual, I think. Some of you with medical training will know that, of course, it’s ‘Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy’. It’s so obvious when you think about it, isn’t it?
I read that this procedure began to be used in the early 1980s and it’s where sound waves are used to break up kidney stones into smaller pieces so they can be passed out of the body more easily.
I've been reading again in Joshua chapter 6 the account of how the walls of Jericho were brought down by God’s very unusual strategy of getting the Israelites to just march around the city once a day for six days and on the seventh day, march around it six times, then on the seventh time we read in verse 5:
"When you hear them [the priests] sound a long blast on the trumpets, have all the people give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the people will go up, every man straight in."
The sound of human voices, empowered by faith, caused the stones to break and the wall to fall down!
So, it looks like God KNEW what it took men several thousand years to discover, that sound waves could break down stones! OF COURSE He did!
This led me to think about sounds and what they can mean to us and for us. The sound of our own name can be very meaningful for us. [My husband, Jim, tells me that God made us as ‘social animals’ who need to connect with each other. So, if we want to genuinely connect with someone and grab their attention, psychologists recommend that we should say their name – because our subconscious brains are programmed to react positively to this sound!]
One of my favourite scriptures is Isaiah 43:3, where we read:
“Fear not for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name, you are Mine”
A very skilled friend of mine embroidered this scripture for me and framed it for my 60th birthday present, and she inserted my name thus:
“Fear not for I have redeemed you, I have called you by your name, Evelyn, you are Mine”
When we hear the Lord say our name, it’s so very precious. It makes the verse come alive and is therefore much more impactful.
Sounds can have different effects on us depending on the circumstances or the tone in which things are said.
When I was young we used to play outside all the time. When it was time to come in for tea, my Mam would just shout my name in the street and that would be something I’d very much look forward to. After tea, we’d be sent back out to play and she’d then call us in later on, as it was now time for bed. That was NOT a welcome sound as it meant play was over for the day. Some kids used to negotiate an extra 10 minutes or so with their mams, if we hadn’t finished our game of rounders, for instance, but my brother and I NEVER would try that trick as the consequences would not be pleasant. When we were called we HAD to obey immediately!
Sometimes our names might be shouted out in warning, say, if we were about to step off into the road and hadn’t seen a car come around the corner.
Or, perhaps our name may be said sternly in censure as we were misbehaving in some way.
Or, it could be said warmly and affectionately which would bring us great comfort.
Then we could think of what the sound of the voice of the Lord would be like. We read that when Elijah was fleeing from king Ahab, he hid in a cave. The presence of God passed by and there were the mighty sounds of a “great and powerful wind” that tore the mountains apart, then an earthquake and then a fire. These all must have been terrifying sounds to hear but then Elijah heard a “gentle whisper”, a “still, small voice” of the Lord speaking to him. (1 Kings 19:12)
But then we also read in Revelation 1:15
“… His voice was like the sound of rushing waters”
And in Daniel 10 when he had a vision of Jesus:
“His voice [was] like the sound of a multitude”
So, for Elijah the Lord’s voice was a reassurance and a comfort as He then gave him directions as to what to do and where to go, but in the Daniel and Revelation scriptures the sound would have been overwhelming and it inspires us to reverential fear and awe.
We also know that God’s voice has tremendous power to create as we read in the Genesis account that He SPOKE and things came into being.
I love the verse in Isaiah 51:16:
“I have put My words in your mouth and covered you with the shadow of My hand”
He gives us HIS words to say and then covers us with His presence and anointing to declare them and see strongholds come down and creative miracles happen.
Pastor Tim has encouraged us for the last couple of years to SPEAK OUT our blessings over family, our cities, our region and our nation to see the spiritual atmosphere change.
There is power to build up or to tear down in sound. Let’s use it to see the Kingdom of God expand.