You ever think about the ways in which silence is better than speaking?
I was recalling today that Joshua told the people to march around Jericho for 7 days and they weren’t allowed to speak. The reason was simple. Remember from Numbers 13, it was the “speaking” of a “bad report” that disabled the strength of Israel and kept them from entering the promised land.
Then I remember how Job cried out for silence from his “comforters” who specialized in condesending rhetoric (Job 13:5).
James tells us to be “quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” James 1:19
Have you ever just sat in silence before God? This was the practice of Mary at Jesus feet. It is the command of Scripture from Ecclesiastes 5. And yet it is so often what we fail to do.
The next time you feel obligated to just “give someone a piece of your mind” I dare you to be silent. Then count the ways in which you will save yourself further turmoil by NOT opening up a can of worms and NOT letting your tongue “loose.”
I read somewhere that YouTube is changing (maybe a small way) the manner in which Americans act. The fear of being caught saying something mean or even being aggressive on camera phones or someone’s pocket sized flip camcorder is causing people to hold their peace and think twice.
But for you and I, we must remember that even when no phone camera is running, the Holy Spirit always has a front row seat to what we do. It’s kind of like YouTube for the soul. Some ONE might see this – and so I must be careful.
There’s a final silence in the scriptures that has always caught my attention. It says in Revelation 8:1 (NIV) “there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.”
Right smack dab in the middle of heaven, just before the final judgment of God upon the Earth (depending on your eschatology) – silence. And this is after the souls of men and women from all tribes and nations have been gathered before the Lord. With all the Saints of God from history past now before God – silence. And not just a moment of silence. Silence for a 30 minute period. Wow.
I wonder if that is what living in the presence of God really means. Silence. Stop asking for stuff and start realizing who He is. Stop complaining and start concentrating on His closeness. Stop spreading your opinion and get a grasp of God’s vision. Is it any wonder He tells us to “Be still and know that (He) is God.” (Psalm 46:10)?
One of the best practices of any devotional time with the Lord is just to sit in silence. Some people call it “quiet time.” I challenge you to be still, in the midst of a hurried existence, and sit quietly before the One who quiets your soul.
Okay, I’d better start practicing what I preach.