Summary: How to respond when God is silent? What is your vision about your life? Do you think God is silent and you have not achieved anything? God is working on our behalf even when we feel he is silent towards us!
Message: Responding to God’s Silence
Series – Abraham – Father of faith
Scripture: Genesis 16
Introduction: Man basically likes to interact and talk with people. When someone whom we love stops talking to us it is painful. Silence is painful for the receiver. When God is silent it can be even painful. We want to hear from God like Moses or Elijah whom God spoke to almost their entire lifetime. How long has it been that God has spoken to you? How long has it been that your prayers are unanswered? Sometimes when we cry to God there is no answer, God is silent. Silence is agony when we are in pain or face a problem. We must understand people in the Bible went through such as situation. Read Psalm 28:1 1 To you I call, O LORD my Rock; do not turn a deaf ear to me. For if you remain silent, I will be like those who have gone down to the pit. Here David is crying out to God because God is not answering him. How to respond when God is silent? Let us study from Abraham’s life.
Abraham believed and followed God but he never got a child that God promised him. Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months, and months turned into years. It has been 10 years after God promised Abraham and still no sign of a child in his life. He found no answer to his prayer and obedience to God. This takes us to the chapter 16 of Genesis. Sarai is in her mid 70s and Abram in his mid 80s. Time seems to be running out for a child. God is silent on the other end.
How to respond when God is silent?
1. Understand our ideas can lead us away for God.
Genesis 16:1-2 1 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian maidservant named Hagar; 2 so she said to Abram, "The LORD has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family through her." Abram agreed to what Sarai said.
Sarai loved Abraham and knew he longed for a child. She decided to make a sacrifice no women would make. She responds with an idea of her own. Her idea did not come from prayer or from faith. It was a wrong step or a wrong idea when God was silent in their lives. Listen, Abraham and Sarai are waiting for God’s promise. On one end God is silent and on the other end many thoughts are going through this couple’s mind. New ideas are coming up, negativity is growing. Abraham should have prayed about this idea. He should have listened to God’s voice instead of his wife’s voice. He used human means to solve his problem.
Living on other’s idea can lead us away from God’s will. Living on our own ideas too can lead us away from God. Place the ideas and suggestions in God’s feet and then carry on if God permits them. Eventually we are responsible for our actions and we have to bear the consequences if it is against the will of God.
2. God wants us to be patient until his promise is fulfilled.
Genesis 16:3-6 3 So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian maidservant Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. 4 He slept with Hagar, and she conceived. When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress. 5 Then Sarai said to Abram, "You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my servant in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the LORD judge between you and me." 6 "Your servant is in your hands," Abram said. "Do with her whatever you think best." Then Sarai mistreated Hagar; so she fled from her.
Waiting for the promise Abram and Sarai grew impatient. He obliged to Sarai’s idea. In other words Sarai, Abraham, and Hagar were in agreement with this idea. Sarai thought she could build her life through Hagar. She thought when the plan materializes both she and her husband would be happy. Abram on the other end wanted his wife happy; he wanted his marriage to be happy. He also wanted a baby that could keep things calm in their house. Hagar thought her status would be uplifted in the house, being a mother would change her life. All 3 thought they could build their life on other people’s expense. They wanted to establish their plan through others. The plan terribly failed. Our plan and our joy must be from the Lord, not based on other people’s joy. Hagar conceived and what was conceived was a son of flesh, not from God. The news brought unrest to Abram, tension into the house. Genesis 16:5-6. Once the problem started they started blaming each other. No one in the house was happy. Hagar despised Sarai. Sarai lashed out at Abram and blamed him for the mess. Abram turns the blame right back to Sarai. Very diplomatically Abram washed off his hands. It is easy when things do not work to blame others. This moves responsibility from our back and puts it on someone. Here, once a happy family has become full of anger, disappointment, and resentment all because they did not wait patiently for the Lord’s time. Read Psalm 40:1. 1 I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. Even if God seems silent if we wait on him he will answer us in his time.