This afternoon I have a few hours before I need to review study materials for Vapor (high school ministry Frank and I work with). So what to do with this time?
Today at church, Tim talked about when God is silent. He referred to the gospel of Mark 14:53-65 where Jesus was being “tried” for his many wrong doings. When confronted with this false, inaccurate and contradicting testimony, Jesus was silent in response. He did not respond.
This lead to Tim’s first point – God does not respond when we have a wrong view/understanding of Him. God is our sovereign king. He is the way, the truth, and the light in the darkness. He is almighty and powerful. He is merciful. It doesn’t say that He is the keeper of my happiness. Believing that God existed as a butler serving my happiness would be a false view of Him. If I was a small child who begged for candy and my parents gave it to me whenever I asked, sure I’d be happy, but in 20 years, I’d have rotten teeth and health issues. If God existed to cater to my every need, I wouldn’t be as useful to Him. I would get complacent and I’d never grow. I doubt I’d take risks.
Tim pulled out Jeremiah 29:11 as an example of an inaccurate picture of God. Jer 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” That is a great verse, but when it is not in its full context, it paints an inaccurate portrait of God. The actual verese is surrounded by God putting Jeremiah in captivity for 70 years. Sure they will be delivered and they will be close to God when they pray to Him with all of their hearts, but they lose everything first and get it back later.
When we have an inaccurate, false view of God, He often falls silent. Maybe that’s where a lot of non-Christians struggle – they have an inaccurate view of God and don’t understand why He’s not responding. And maybe that’s where Christians fall short as well.
The last thing Tim mentioned was that sometimes God is silent when you have a right view of Him. You know God, but it seems He is not there. Tim pulled out an excellent example from something Rob Bell said (pastor in Michigan). When Jewish people morn, they have a shivah (can’t spell it, first time I’ve heard of it). THis is where family and friends come just to sit with the family in silence. They don’t say anything, they don’t give them a card – they just sit with the family to show their support and love and grieve for the loss.
When God is silent, maybe He is just sitting with us, waiting for us to humble ourselves and run to Him. Afterall, He is also our Daddy.