When the Lamb broke the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.
(Revelation 8:1 NASB)



In John's vision he tells us of all that he saw in heaven, which, for the most part was a flurry of activity and yet when this seventh seal is opened, the response is simply silence. We are not told the exact reason for the silence and so we must speculate. Is it that the impending response from heaven is actually overwhelming to those who are at work with God in the heavenlies? Is it that they are taking time to simply sit in God's presence and quietly gain strength for the battle which is to come? Is it that they are instructed to be silent? Is there an overwhelming awe in the presence of the Word?



Whatever the exact reason, we know that the response is silence. I'm afraid that we have lost the art of waiting in silence before God. We are all too ready to jump into action and get busy doing something when sometimes God simply tells us to wait -- in silence. I believe that it is in those times of silence that God molds us and prepares us for what He wants us to do. It is in stillness and quiet that we begin to hear the whisper that is the voice of God. Only when we can turn off the noise of the world around us and simply enjoy being in his presence do we understand the nature of the mission which is placed before us. All too often we keep ourselves far too occupied with the "things" we think we ought to be doing, rather than simply "knowing" the One who is in the process of sending us out into His work.

Another mistake we often make is assuming God's silence is a lack of response. God is at work, even in the silence. In this case it was to be thirty minutes of silence before any work was to be done. Did that mean that the silence was not part of God's plan -- that it was some kind of a mistake? No, the silence was God's work, and we must recognize this in our own lives. It's in those times when we cry out "Where is God?" that we suddenly discover that he is right beside us, standing silently, waiting for us to calm down long enough to realize that he is there.

In our busy and noisy world, it's hard to be silent. Maybe we need to practice the art of being silent for thirty minutes and see what God might be asking of us. It may be something of great consequence to the world!



Lord, please help me to practice the art of silence before you today, and every day. Amen.


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