Summary: When we cry out to God and nothing happens, how can we help but feel something's not quite right. We oftentimes suggest that the problem is on the side of God and not on the side of the Listener. Be assured God does respond.
TITLE: WHEN GOD IS SILENT
A few nights ago I was watching the news and as News Anchors were switching over quickly to one another, something did not go right. In the middle of the News Broadcast there was an inexplicable moment of silence. This is probably every Broadcaster’s Nightmare – dead air - Where the seconds seem to turn into eternity.
• We live in the midst of constant pervasive background noise
• This past week we celebrated holiday where homes filled with family and friends and lots of noise
• Celebrations with those we love
• Black Friday at Malls across the land – noise
• We are a people who have pretty much grown unaccustomed to, and really fearful of silence
• There are many I know of that go to sleep at night with the television on
• Even need noise to go to sleep at night
Whenever my grandchildren are playing quietly, which is very rare, I go and check on them to make sure everything is okay. We tell and holler at them to be quiet and stop making so much noise around the house when they all get together. When they follow our rules, and they have a period where they are playing quietly together, we grow nervous that something is not right because in essence we are accustomed to noise and silence raises a level of fear that something is not right.
Silence is particularly painful when that silence is the silence of God.
• Oh, how we would like to be like MOSES where God speaks to us all the time through burning bushes
• How we would like to be like ELIJAH who throughout his life carried on a running conversation with God
• How we love to be like ENOCH and just walked and talked with God
We have those in churches that constantly run up to us saying “The Lord is Telling me to Tell You...blah..blah…blah.” We oftentimes wonder, why, God, are you so mute when it comes to me?"
• The silence is agonizing
• Particularly when we are in agony
• When our lives are afflicted
• When we are in turmoil and we turn to the Lord for an answer
• And all we are met with is silence
Many of us, if not all of us, have experienced the silence of God. We cry out to God, and there seems to be no answer. We pray, pouring out our hearts, only to hear the words echo back without a reply. The maddening thing is that we have been conditioned to expect a direct relation between input and output.
• If we work a certain number of hours, we will reach a certain level of success
• If we place our children in the right schools, enroll them in the right programs and practice the proper procedures, they will turn out as hoped
• If we invest our money strategically and wisely, we will receive a fair return on our investment
When we cry out to God and nothing happens, how can we help but feel something's not quite right. We oftentimes suggest that the problem is on the side of God and not on the side of the Listener. One of the biggest complaints when marriages begin to fail, falls into this category:
• Few things are more damaging to a relationship than a sense of not being heard or responded to
• It's as if we don't matter
• That there is no genuine concern
• Feel like we are being ignored by our loved one
That is the exact situation in which the psalmist finds himself this morning. I would invite you this morning to see, to just see if God might break the silence as we stand on tiptoe and strain to hear His voice. When God is Silent. We all go through times in life when God seems silent. Those are the times in life when the heavens seem to be brass. In times of God’s silence, we try to pray, but our prayers may seem only to rise to the ceiling and then fall back to the floor. During the times in our life when it seems as if God does not speak to us –
• It is hard to pray
• It is hard to give godly council to others
• It is hard to persevere in the right things
• Sometimes it is even hard to live!
I am talking to you this morning about a very real part of our Christian Life. If you have been a Christian for any amount of time you know that there will come times in life when God seems silent. This is an area we must wrestle with and come to terms.