My chronological Bible takes several days to share the history of mankind during the 400 years of what seemed to be spiritual silence between the Old and New Testaments.
As I was reading about some of the things that were going on politically,
I was also drawn to what was going on spiritually.
The Jews struggled during this time of silence.
They were well aware of the prophecies that had been passed down through the generations………….
a Messiah would one day come.
But as the years passed and turmoil filled the land,
the idea of “hope” began to blur with the reality of the hopelessness surrounding them.
The temple was lost during the exile…………….and the role of the priest slowly began to fade.
In order to survive, the Jews turned to the building of synagogues and the use of rabbis to lead the way.
Doing the best they could during this time,
they substituted their old ways of worshiping God with times of singing, prayer, and discussions of His law.
Something happened, though, when men took God’s design into their own hands.
Differing interpretations began to surface.
Differing views of who was “right” and who was “wrong” began to dominate this era.
God was silent.
And man began to talk more and more.
By the time Jesus arrived on the scene, even the Jews were divided into all sort of different groups with different philosophies.
It’s really no different today.
The Bible was written and then God seemed to slip away to a certain degree,
lifting His hand a bit from the ins and outs of our day-to-day business….
no longer showing up in burning bushes or angelic appearances.
We know the prophecies of a second return of Jesus.
We know that the Holy Spirit was sent to be with us until this time,
dwelling in each of us………..
human temples for a Holy God.
But the silence can get the best of us at times.
It can get the best of me anyway.
I love days when I can feel God in a mighty way.
I love being fully aware of His presence in my life and in the lives of my family and friends.
But sometimes, He seems so far away.
He seems so quiet.
And if I’m really honest, I have to admit that I’m no different than the Jews several thousand years ago when I don’t know what to do with His lack of words.
When God is silent,
it’s so easy for me to fill the air………..
with my own words,
my own reasoning,
my own way of worshiping.
What if I could remember even when I’m all alone in the silence of a moment that God is with me?
What if I could grasp the beauty of being called a temple of the living God?
What would change about today if I didn’t think I needed to hear from God as much as I needed to be with Him?
Last night in my graduate class, my professor said,
“People with empty places try to fill them up with people or things.”
What if I could wrap my mind around the fullness that comes from having Jesus inside of me?
What would I not need today?
Last night, I drove several hours in my car all alone.
I started with the radio on; but as I was listening, I remembered our Sunday school lesson yesterday and the verse
“Be still and know that I am God.”
I remembered Beth Moore saying,
“If we cannot be still, we cannot know God.”
I turned my radio off.
Silence filled my car, but it took a long, long time for silence to fill my mind.
It took a lot of miles for me to settle down enough to really listen…………..
to the beauty of silence.
And that’s when it hit me.
When God is silent,
He is still there……………
powerfully, beautifully, perfectly present.
The fall colors covering the hills all around me seemed to grow in beauty as the thoughts dancing through my mind seemed to fade into the quietness of the journey.
When I heard nothing, I could see more.
I wonder if God is silent sometimes so we will really see Him?
I wonder if He steps back so we will step forward?
I wonder if He hides so we will seek?
I wonder if the pursuit of Him is what causes us to grow?
When God is silent,
He is still so visible.
Today, I want to be quiet and open my eyes to His presence all around me.
God is with us.
Like a friend who is willing to sit with us……………….
with no need for words……….
God longs to be with me and you.
I want to find beauty in His times of silence.
I want to see Him today.
“The LORD your God is in your midst,
A victorious warrior.
He will exult over you with joy,
He will be quiet in His love,
He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.