In relation to the darkness, there is another lesson we can learn from Genesis 1:2: God is silent before he speaks light and form into his creation. If this is his way from the beginning we shouldn’t be afraid of God’s silence. This silence often meets us in our day to day life and in the place of solitude and prayer. There is a purpose to God’s silence. Out of this stillness will come a Word that bursts out with such potency that it will cause us to savour the silence as well as the sound of his creative voice. This is how the first Word came and how every other Word that God speaks comes. God will not entrust a revelatory Word to those who are not willing to sacrifice the noise. Silence is the price to pay for God’s sanctifying commands.
There is also another reason why God is silent. He desires us to learn to enjoy his presence even when there are no words spoken. This is something that is very foreign to our Western culture. We feel uncomfortable at the dinner table when there is no one talking, especially if we have guests over. We feel compelled to ask some questions and raddle off some trivia to break the stillness. We are addicted to noise. We have iPods that can always speak and sing to us. Even the shops we visit cater to our lust for noise, entertaining and motivating us with upbeat songs. Today, many cannot live without their televisions continually drowning the quietness of the day. Even McDonalds is now installing plasma screen televisions in order to satisfy the continual longing of our eyes to be entertained. Our culture has perfected the art of audio and visual saturation.
God however has not gone the way of the world. Take for example what is recorded in the book of Revelation: “When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour…Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake” (Rev. 8:1, 5, italics mine). There are many creatures in heaven, but when the seventh seal was opened there was absolute silence: everything stopped, waited and watched. This was too holy a moment to interrupt with sound. But out of this silence came the greatest release of power on earth, a power that overturned the kingdom of this world and placed it into the hands of our Lord and Messiah (Rev. 11:15).
Prayer: Father, I want to value your silence. It does not mean that you do not love me. Your silence means you’re preparing me to receive your Word. Help me to enjoy your presence today even if I don’t hear anything new from you. I thank you that out of your silence will come a Word from heaven that will release your power on earth. In the silence I long for your mountain-shattering, light-imparting Word.