May 22, 2019

Pastoral Nuggets: 3 Truths About God’s Silence

When reading through the Bible you will come to the last verse in the Old Testament, Malachi 4: 6.

You then turn a page, two at the most, and start reading at Matthew 1:1, which is the start of the New Testament.

What you will miss, if you aren’t careful, is the fact that four hundred years have transpired between Malachi 4:6 and Matthew 1:1.

For four hundred years God’s chosen people haven’t heard a word from Him. The heavens have been shut up tight!

I think there are several lessons we should learn from God’s silence.  The first of which is – that silence is a very effective form of communication.

My wife has learned this lesson well! On one side of the coin, when I say or do something “less than intelligent,” she will often just glare at me.  Her glare indicates that she is probably thinking: “Seriously? Are you really that dumb?” To which I want to reply, “Oh, you ain’t seen nothing yet! Just watch this!  I’ll show you how dumb I really am!”

And then I proceed to say or do something “even less intelligent!” (And I can look right through this paper and see all you married ladies reading this column and laughing – ‘cause your husband does the same thing!)

But moving on! On the other side of the coin, sometimes when counseling younger couples they will bring up something painful they are experiencing. Their hurt and pain is palpable. And as they speak my wife and I will just glance at each other.

Then, with absolutely no words spoken, we will have a full conversation regarding the subject – as we too have lived their story.  Oh yes, silence is a very effective form of communication!

A second lesson we can learn from silence is that often what we perceive as God’s silence is not silence at all. Sometimes it is simply us allowing other voices to drown out His voice! God speaking to Elijah after his “Juniper Tree Experience” is a good case in point. When God chose to bring Elijah to the mouth of the cave and speak to him, He didn’t communicate through the fire, the great wind, or the earthquake. He spoke with a still small voice.

It isn’t that God is not speaking – it’s that we haven’t tuned out the other voices in order to hear His voice. John 10:4-5(KJV) “… and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. 5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.” We must learn to tune in the voice of God and tune out everything else!

In 1st Samuel 3 we find the story of young Samuel ministering unto the Lord when Eli was the Judge of Israel.  The Bible says that during this time the Word of the Lord was “precious.” (Rare) God called unto Samuel three times. Samuel thought it was Eli. Finally Eli “gets it” and tells Samuel to say, “Speak Lord for your servant it listening.”

It is only when Samuel suppresses his own voice and listens that he hears that God is about to do something that will make the ears of those who hear, tingle.  Wow! What a lesson for us to learn today!

The other night my wife and I watched the movie, “God’s Not Dead 2.” The third lesson comes from one line in that movie. The actor said, “The only time the teacher is silent in the classroom is when the test is being administered.”

So, when God is silent, perhaps our proper response should be to realize that He is testing us and to focus everything within us on passing the test!

Three truths about God’s silence:  1: It is a very effective form of communication.  2: Perhaps God’s not silent at all – maybe we just aren’t tuned in to His voice.  3: Just maybe He is testing us. So, let’s do everything within our power to pass the test!

Brother Aaron

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