Every now and again I am asked why don't we hear God the way people heard God in the Bible? No more burning bushes, no voices from the sky, no walking in a garden chatting about the days activities. I am not going to get into the discussion about if these events were historically accurate or if they are metaphor or myth or some hallucination resulting in Moses eating some odd desert flower. What I am interested in discussing is an underlying assumption in the question: what does God sound like.
St. John of the Cross said that the first language of God is silence. And if we are made in the image of God then the first language of humans might also be silence. If that is the case, then why do we seek out to "hear" God the way we would hear other noises? Do you and I know how to listen to the silence? It does not seem like we as a people embrace silence. In many ways it seems like we are like the children of later generations who no longer speak the "old language" of our ancestors. Third generation German Americans or Mexican Americans may not know how to speak or hear their grandparent's native tongue. So too we have become so removed from our native tongue that we cannot even hear silence the way we used to.
As they say with all languages, you use it or you lose it. Perhaps we are losing the language of silence?
Finally, if God's first language is silence and our first language is noise, should it be so shocking that even if we hear God there would be translation and interpretation problems?