“The sound of silence.”
Some of us may think of the old Simon and Garfunkel song when we hear those words. That song may not give the most solid advertisement for the value of silence!
The reality, today, is that most of us do not know the sound of silence, because we hear so little of it.
For some, it’s simply a mindless habit: when we get up, we turn on the radio or the TV or a streaming device, and sound motivates the start (and maybe middle and end) of our day.
For others, it’s an intentional act to avoid silence because they fear what they will encounter in the silence.
Understand this: silence is where God may want to reach you. Silence may be where you have the best opportunity to hear from God.
Elijah learned this. He had conquered the prophets of Baal, with God’s help, and was now running from Queen Jezebel. He stopped to rest, basically parking under a broom tree saying that he’d had enough of life. God sent an angel to feed him and give him strength for the journey ahead (that he didn’t want to take). God said he would speak to Elijah, so Elijah went into a cave at Mount Sinai, as if to hide.
God asked him what he was doing there. Elijah offered an excuse. God sent him to the edge of a mountain, and along came a windstorm, and then an earthquake, and then a fire. But God was not in those phenomena. We read in 1 Kings 19.12b-13 (NLT), “And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.”
God spoke in the gentle whisper. It was not the booming sounds of windstorm, earthquake or fire in which the voice of God was to be heard, but in the quiet.
When you spend time with God, do you set aside time in silence? Who knows how the Lord might speak if you set aside all the noise of life even for a few minutes.