1. People are silent when:
- They are angry or upset
- They disagree with something we have said or done
- They are taking time to think before responding
- They feel it would be inappropriate to laugh, or cry!
2. God is silent when:
- He is not ready to speak
- He is testing
- He has already spoken
- He wants me to make an important step first
- He knows I’m not listening
- I forget what He has said
- Something is hindering my ability to listen to him
3. Yet he still speaks!
- In nature (Ps. 19:1-3)
- In Bible (2 Tim. 3:16; Ps. 119:105)
- By Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8)
- Through miracles (John 20:31; Heb. 2:3-4)
- Through circumstances (Rom 8:28)
- In Jesus (John 1:14; Heb. 1:1-2)
4. How to live when God Is silent! David: A case study
Times of isolation are hard on people because God created people for relationship. Separation from God causes an uneasy sense of alienation. This sense of “lostness” makes us unsure and takes away confidence. As a result, we try and second guess God in everything and begin feeling bad when things don’t then work out.
David experienced a time when God seemed silent. God had told Samuel to anoint David as the king of Israel. Yet fort he next thirteen years, Saul continued to be king and, during much of that time, Saul was actively trying to kill his divinely appointed successor.
David’s world fraught with danger and, at times, he felt that God didn’t even hear his prayers. He wandered in the wilderness, driven from his home and unable to worship God in the tabernacle. He expressed his feeling at this time in many of the psalms including Psalms 42 and 43.
If we just focus on our current circumstances, we can miss what God is saying. We may get our eyes set on things instead of looking to the promises of God. Our circumstances can blind us to the reality of God at work in the midst of our circumstances.
A better response is suggested by the hymn writer who wrote,
“When darkness hides His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
my anchor holds within the veil.
On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
all other ground is sinking sand.”
We can identify with David when he said:
“I say to God my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?” (Ps 42:9).
So, David remembered his anointing and waited his time. Three times in these two Psalms he rebuked himself:
“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Saviour and my God.” (Ps. 42:5, 11; 43:5).
David remembered the previous days he had enjoyed in communion with God.
“My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.” (Ps. 84:2).
This enabled him to reject the critics who taunted him with the continual question, “Where is your God?” (Ps. 42:3). David took the certainty of what he knew and that enabled him to encourage himself (Ps. 42:5, 11; 43:5). As a result, he never gave up seeking God. Despite the circumstances, he affirmed:
“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?” (Ps. 42:1-2).
Practically then during these times, we should:
- Follow the last command
- Rely on a clear and accurate memory