Tag Archives: Silence

It Is Time For A Moment of…God

Silence. That’s what we are arguing about now? Ironic, isn’t it? Of all the things facing our country right now, silence is in the crosshairs. Some are taking moments of silence; others are boycotting it in the name of action.

Of course, it is political. Some claim to honor the dead, while others claim to fight for the living. But, as with most politics, there is a higher truth that is being ignored. Silence is meant for the glory of God; and action is meant for the glory of God. Or that is the way it should be.

All reasonable people hope the violence will end. All faithful people pray for God to intervene. And in the face of such terrible loss of life, responsible people are trying to find answers, whether in reverent silence or by vocal means.

Scripturally speaking, of course, both positions have some truth. There are times to be silent and there are times for action. There are times to honor those who have passed and there is a time to act.

Silence can be good. Silence was Jesus’ response in the face of accusations and persecution (Mark 14:61). Silence is often the wisest choice one can make (Proverbs 17:28). And most importantly, silence is the correct position in which to hear God (Habakkuk 2:20; Zephaniah 1:7; Zechariah 2:13).

But Silence can be the wrong answer at times. The Lord commanded Paul, “Do not be afraid any longer, but go on speaking and do not be silent;” (Acts 18:9). When commanded not to speak about Jesus, the disciples responded, “we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20). We must speak the truth.

Remember God’s rebuke of Joshua? There was sin in the camp, so Joshua fell on his face in prayer. God responded, “Rise up! Why is it that you have fallen on your face?” (Joshua 7:10). It was not a time for silence. When there is sin among us, action is required!

A “moment of silence” is just a moment. And sometimes we need that moment. But let’s remember that turning to God is the only answer. I ran across the following quote this week. It resonated with me, and I hope you will hear it as well…

“Silence never sacrificed an only Son, but God did. Silence never parted the Red Sea or created a world full of human souls, but God did. Silence never wrote a book and preserved it for all time and generations, never brought anyone back to life, or forgave sin, but God did. Silence never healed a blind man, deaf man or lame man. Why turn to silence in a time of great need such as this? HOW ABOUT A MOMENT OF GOD?!” -David Thompson

So whether you choose a moment of silence or a moment to speak out, let it be a moment of God. Allow Him to guide you – in your prayers, in your reflection and meditation, and in your actions and words. Perhaps a moment of God would help us all to focus on higher truths. #momentofGod

Good Intentions, A Bison Calf, and Why Rules Matter

bisonFlyers, road signs, and verbal warnings tell visitors to keep away from wildlife at Yellowstone National Park. But last week, upon seeing a Bison calf alone in the cold, two visitors took action. They trusted their “good intentions” and “rescued” the calf by taking him to the ranger station in the back of their SUV. The result? The herd rejected the calf, it became habituated to humans, and rangers had to euthanize it.

Federal laws, clearly posted at National Parks, prohibit “feeding, touching, teasing, frightening or intentional disturbing of wildlife nesting, breeding or other activities.” Yellowstone regulations require that visitors remain at least 25 yards from bison. Yet rangers continue to tell of “inappropriate, dangerous and illegal“ behaviors.

So why do people keep ignoring signs? Do they know better? Perhaps they believe the signs don’t apply to them? Do good intentions supersede the rules?

There is probably a more clinical and professional term for the utter hubris of human rationale, but I am just going to go with “I-thinkism.” You see, far too many people have decided that their logic, wisdom, and reasoning are better than the rules that have been established for their safety and well-being. So…the rules say one thing, “but I think…” becomes the motto of many unhappy endings.

In the Bible, we are often reminded of the foolishness of choosing “I-thinkism” over God’s rules. In 1 Samuel 4, the people lost the Ark of the Covenant in battle because they chose their path over God’s. The Philistines then took the Ark home and learned the power of taking something they shouldn’t. God destroyed their idol, Dagon, and gave the Philistines boils and tumors for not keeping their distance and respecting His ways.

Years later, in 2 Samuel 6, David calls for the ark to be brought to Jerusalem. Unfortunately, during the trip, “the oxen nearly upset” the cart (6:6). With good intentions, a man named Uzzah reached up and grabbed the ark to steady it, a clear violation of God’s law. He was struck down instantly for his “irreverence.” Finally, when the Ark arrived in Jerusalem, David had good intentions to build a house for the Ark. But God rebuked him, saying He had never asked for such a thing and David wouldn’t be the man to build the Temple.

Two Biblical principles reside in these examples. 1) When God gives a command, follow it, and 2) When God is silent on a topic, His silence doesn’t authorize us to do whatever we please.

Turns out that this is good advice for National Parks as well. Obey the rules, don’t let “I-thinkism” prevail, and leave the Bison alone.