The Five Senses And Voice: God’s Gifts To Man

By Joanne Major

“I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well” (Psa. 139:14 NKJ).

THE LIVING BIBLE, written in everyday English, gives us a clearer understanding of the above verse: “Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! It’s amazing to think about it. Your workmanship is marvelous—and how well I know it.”

When we think of the human body, its design and workings, we truly marvel. In this study we will consider our wonderful five senses: sight, taste, hearing, touch, smell and one other marvelous gift, voice.

We will look at Scriptures to see what God says about them and what God wants us to do with them.


A. The Senses

1) Sight—Eyes

Our eyes connect us to the physical world. They provide perception of light and dark, shade, color, movement and depth. We know it’s an intricate structure composed of delicate tissues and blood vessels; some parts are solid, some liquid. They process millions of stimuli every day, both simple and complex, providing the input for our brains to give an ongoing picture of our environment.

2)  Taste—Tongue

We have only four tastes—sweet, salty, sour, bitter. The many wonderful tastes we know are a combination of these.

Taste is in the tongue. The tongue is covered with (small) projections called papillae that contain special taste receptors called “taste buds.” Taste buds are specialized; those in front of the tongue sense sweet and salty; on the sides, we taste sour; and toward the back of the tongue we sense bitter.

3) Touch—Feeling

We usually think of touch or feeling relating to the hands and fingers, but the sense of touch or feeling pervades our bodies and our lives. It protects us, activating reflexes when we come in contact with something sharp, hot, cold, etc. We have nerve endings all over our bodies transmitting messages to the brain and spinal cord constantly.

We are told that touch receptors in the tongue, fingertips and lips are more sensitive than those in other parts of the body. Each fingertip has more than 3,000 touch receptors. (The skin of your entire trunk has about that many.)

4) Hearing—Ears

The ear is as complex an organ as is the eye, with three separate parts/sections, responsible for the sense of hearing as well as balance!

5) Smell—Nose

The olfactory nerve in our noses and the olfactory bulb, sitting in the upper back of the throat give us our sense of smell—aroma.

Let me mention another of God’s gifts to us at which I continually stand amazed:

 6) Voice—Vocal Chords

The vocal chords are a pair of strong bands of elastic tissue covered with thin mucous membrane that span the windpipe from front to back.  A small protected air-space lies above them to ensure their vibration as air from the lungs passes across them; it is by this means that voiced sounds are produced.

B. God Speaks About Senses And Their Use

1) & 2)  Eyesight and Taste

“The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the Lord hath made even both of them”(Prov. 20:12).

“Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him” (Rev. 1:7a.)

“O, taste and see that the Lord is good...” (Psa. 34:8).

We who have come to Jesus and know Him as Lord and Savior find that He fully satisfies as we hunger and thirst more and more for Him.

Those who don’t know Him, need “the eyes of their understanding opened” (Eph.1:18).

 The Lord tells us to be a “good taste” to those around us.“You are the salt of the earth...” (Matt. 5:13). “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how to answer each one” (Col. 4:6).

3) Touch

We all know how important touch is in our lives. It gives us a feeling of being loved and cared for. We have heard stories of children in orphanages who waste away as a result of not being touched and held. Others are permanently emotionally damaged due to lack of touch when they were infants.

Jesus lived a life of touching people. Two blind men followed Jesus and cried out to Him to have mercy on them. “Then He touched their eyes... and their eyes were opened” (Matt. 9:29-30).

The woman with the issue of blood touched Jesus to receive her healing. “She said to herself, ‘If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well’ ” (Matt. 9:21).

When Jesus healed Jairus’ daughter He took her by the hand and said, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” (See Mk. 5:41). When they brought young children to Him, “He took them up in His arms, put His hands on them and blessed them” (Mk.10:16).

4) Hearing

The Lord wants us to have ears tuned in to Him and His Word. May we have hearing ears as Samuel did when God called out to him in the night. Young Samuel replied, “Speak, Lord, for your servant hears” (1 Sam. 3:10).

And let us say with the Psalmist, “I will hear what God the Lord will speak, for He will speak peace unto His people and to His saints” (Psa. 85:8).

The Lord assures us that He hears us when we call out to Him—when we pray.

5) Smell   

This, perhaps, is the sense I might give up the quickest. But it reminds me of what is written of our Lord , “All Your garments are scented (smell) with myrrh and aloes and cassia, out of the ivory palaces...” (Psa. 45:8).

The wise men from the East who came to worship the newborn King, brought offerings of gold and frankincense and myrrh (two costly aromatic  resins used as incense and perfume).

Our lives are to be a sweet smelling offering to the Lord, not offered once, but a continual daily offering.

6) Voice

The voice—the gift of speech—is a thing of amazement to me. We all have vocal chords (voice box) designed the same, so what makes our voices distinctive?  We don’t all sound the same. Each one of us has a voice distinctively his or her own. We can recognize each other’s voice.

I continue to be amazed as I think about the ability to  sing— the gift of singing. When we sing, how do we sing the different notes?

God gave man the knowlege to make musical instruments. All the right notes come out because you hit the right key (along with lip work), or you pluck the right string. But, how do we sing? How do we hit the right note? We don’t have to think about it, we just sing! What a wonder!

And what should our theme song be? “Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! It’s amazing to think about it. Your workmanship is marvelous—and how well I know it.”


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