Preaching is both an oral and an aural experience: oral because it is communicated by the spoken word; aural because its message is received by means of hearing. Some of the earliest preaching was also based in the home. God’s people were commanded to teach their children the truths that had been revealed to them though Moses.
Today’s passage begins with an invitation: “Ask now about the former days, long before your time, from the day God created human beings on the earth; ask from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything so great as this ever happened, or has anything like it ever been heard of?” (v. 32). The remarkable event is God’s revelation of Himself by word. He spoke audibly to the people of Israel at Horeb (cf. Ex. 20:22; Deut. 5:24). Most of the time, however, He spoke through others.
All preaching and teaching is grounded in God’s self-revelation. Those who speak to the church on God’s behalf do so because He spoke first through His Word. He revealed His Word through chosen instruments who put it in writing.They were empowered and guided by the Holy Spirit so that they recorded only what He wanted written (2 Tim. 3:16–17; 2 Peter 1:20–21).
God expects His people to take Him at His word. This means that we will believe what He has said. If we believe God’s Word, then we will obey and teach it to others.
God’s motive in revealing His Word was to bless us. He did not give it so that it would be a burden but “so that it may go well with you” (v. 40). We do not need to hear God’s audible voice to know His mind. He has put it in writing for us.