When God Is Silent

Silence here means keeping quiet in the face of high expectations and urgency to speak out or act. It is saying nothing and doing nothing when your response is needed. One of the most distressing moments in life and in faith is not hearing from God when you need him most or when you feel he should act or react on an issue. Most times, it make you feel disappointed, betrayed, confused and can even lead to depression and backsliding if the feeling and situation are not promptly and properly managed. But actually, God’s silence does not always mean that he has abandoned a matter. It does not mean that he is confused or undecided. And it is also not a sign of weakness or lack of will to effectively, totally manage and direct all the affairs of men. He is ever sovereign. But he chooses his own timing and method of action and intervention. He knows every matter, everything before it begins. He controls it as it exists and he knows how it will ultimately end. Nothing takes him unawares. Nothing panics him. So he does not need our timing, emotions or opinions to take decisions. Yes, we want to talk about those times that you don’t get God’s immediate responses, direction, opinions or answers to your prayers and expectations. When you have done everything you should and it’s like he is not responding, the situation persists and you don’t know the next step to take. I mean when God is silent and heaven is quiet.

You will agree with me that we cannot discuss this topic without first taking into account the indelible, eternal words of that brave, brilliant, spiritual, poetic, indefatigable and humble but powerful great King David, “I pray to you, O LORD, my rock. Do not turn a deaf ear to me. For if you are silent, I might as well give up and die. Listen to my prayer for mercy as I cry out to you for help, as I lift my hands toward your holy sanctuary.” Psalm 28:1-2. Wow! Did you hear that? This guy knows how to put God in very tight conditions with his choice of words. No wonder his prayers are always effective. He loves results. Whether in the battle fields or on his knees, he plans and executes his actions and words carefully. Yes, it is good to hear from a man that has seen it all. He had seen the miraculous, the extraordinary, the spectacular, swift answers and deliverances from God. And he also experienced delays, rebukes, near-fatal, dangerous, reprimands and silence from him. And he knew the differences. Here, it was like he desperately needed divine intervention to survive, but it looked like heaven was totally silent. But let’s first briefly look at the times he enjoyed swift responses before we come back to the quiet periods. Is that okay with you?
When the Philistines heard that David had been crowned king of Israel, they came with their entire army to capture him, but David ran into his stronghold and from there he called upon the LORD. God answered and gave him victory over the Philistines. After a while, they came back and again God gave Israel victory. The enemy will always try to come back, so always be prepared. Then, after the death of Saul and Jonathan, David inquired from the LORD and the LORD told him to move back to Judah. But he didn’t just stop there. He moved further by asking the particular city to settle and the LORD told him, “Hebron!” Wow! He always wants to know the definite mind of God even in the minutest issues. And it was there that the men of Judah came to crown him their king. When you move with God’s direction you will be crowned. True. When the Amalekites raided, burned Ziklag and took away children and wives of David and his men, he cried unto God and the LORD told him to go after the raiders that he will surely recover all that was taken from him. And he did. He also cried desperately many times for God to protect him from the rampaging deranged King Saul. David always got swift response from heaven.

But at a point this fantastic relationship soured. And I believe that was when the king wrote some of those touching Psalms that will clearly show the state of a man that was disconnected and desperately needed a touch of that original sweet relationship with his maker. God looked silent; heaven looked sealed when our beloved David was going through the most trying periods of his life. He prayed, cried, repented but the strings of mishaps simply refused to break. One of his loved sons Amnon raped his half sister. Another preferred ‘beautiful’ son Absalom murdered the rapist and went on exile. He from there began to plan how to overthrow his father. He later succeeded, drove David away from the throne and out of Jerusalem, took his closest advisers and associates and even raped his father’s wives in public. The prodigal Absalom was all out to wipe out his father’s life and legacy. At a time the once great, anointed, majestic David wearing sackcloth and weeping said he was disappearing into the wilderness. My God! Tears. All these happened to the man after God’s heart because heaven has decided to be silent over his affairs. Now you still wonder why he screamed “O LORD save me. Please don’t be silent lest I give up and die.” And he was right. Yes, if God does not come to help us on time, there will be serious trouble. We may be tempted to give up or even perish in the process. Does God seem to be silent on you and your situation now? It may not even be out of your mistake, but you just suddenly find out that nothing is moving forward in your life again. We will continue.

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