But if not, then listen to me. Keep silent and I will teach you wisdom! Job 33:33 (New Living Translation)
My soul waits in silence for God only ; From Him is my salvation. Psalm 62:1 (New American Standard Translation)
These days, it’s as if something has t be noisy to be effective. Our movies are louder-especially if there are shots fired and explosions occurring. Our “reality TV” shows have more yelling and cursing that are downright annoying. God help you if you get next to some chatterbox on their cellphone on a crowded subway. I remember driving to work one summer’s morning-enjoying some silence-when some idiot in front of me was playing his music so loud that I could hear it.
Even our worship services have gotten out of hand at times. “Contemporary” worship has at times depended on the “Holy Ghost crazy noise” (per Kirk Franklin), to be effective. Don’t get me wrong! I do enjoy our praise and worship when it sets a spiritually-conducive atmosphere that invites the presence of God into the sanctuary. However, I’ve seen worship services that were more noise and entertainment at best.
We’ve turned silence into a lost art. For some, it’s almost a dirty word. You either have to go deep into the wilderness or blast off into space for some silence. This is sad since the Bible speaks of the importance of silence. The passage from Job calls for us to be silent if we want to learn something of value. The Psalmist tells how he waits in silence for God for his salvation.
I believe that silence can be unsettling for us. Look how we’re quick to turn on a TV or radio when we’re alone at home to provide some background noise. I also believe that we’re so afraid of being with our own thoughts; or having to hear what God has to say to us we’d rather distract ourselves with noise instead.
It’s time for us to “tune out” the noise of life, and “tune into” the silence so we can hear what God has to say to us without distraction. For it’s in silence God can teach us, and in silence we’ll find salvation. We need to spend some “quiet time” with God. We need to take time out even in our worship services so we can listen to God speak; noisy services aren’t any holier than being still in the presence of God.