If the Lord had not been my help,
my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence. Psalm 94:17
Ahh. Silence. They say it is golden. You may think having a few precious moments of pure silence would be blessed. It’s so hard to find. We fill our world with noise, don’t we? When we get in the car we flick on the radio. When we get home we flick on the TV. During the day our cell phones are in our ears, our computers have music playing in the background so we can drown out the office noise. If we have kids, we learn to filter out their noise, only letting the arguing or cries penetrate through- the things that need our attention.When we don’t hear them at all we become suspicious. They are too quiet- what are they up to?
But there are people who live in silence. I’m not talking about the physically deaf but the emotionally deaf. The din of the world has been tuned out by their angst and sorrow. Depression has plugged up their ears to everything except the screams of their own exaggerated heart beat. Loneliness and sorrow has crowded out the memories of sounds a loved one used to make, or of a child no longer there, or a missed pet. For them, silence is not golden, it is as cold as iron. It is deafening. Then there are those who can’t hear God.
If God had not saved him, the Psalmist’s soul would have have soon lived in a land of silence? Death? Or life not worth living? Without God in our lives, both are scary outcomes. But for the Christian, having the Holy Spirit dwelling in us means we are never alone. Even when we can’t pray, He groans for us. God speaks to us through Him. Christ died so we could have open communication with the Creator of the Universe – He never hangs up.
But, when we sin and do not confess it, when we turn our thoughts to ourselves and not doing His will, then He can keep silent. That is to get our attention. Any parent knows the way to get a kid to hush and listen is to be silent. (Of course the stare helps , too.) He can’t be our help until we cry out for Him again and fill the silence with our prayers.
The very next one, Psalm 95 starts with the call to make a joyful noise unto the Lord. How wonderful it comes after the 94th. Because when His love breaks through the silence, that is our response. We shout for joy- “He lives, He loves. . .me!”
Question- Do you fear silence? Do you fill it with idle noise or with prayer, which includes listening for God?