IF GOD SEEMS SILENT
“The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign LORD,
“when I will send a famine through the land—
not a famine of food or a thirst for water,
but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD.”
One more way God communicates that you might not expect is through silence. The Israelites blatantly ignored and rejected God’s Word to them, and God responded by sending a famine. This famine was far more severe than a shortage of food and water. Instead, they were deprived of His words of life.
God’s silence may be hardly noticeable at first. You may still remember times when God spoke to you, but you gradually realize you haven’t heard His voice for a long time. If you realize you’re in a drought, immediately seek God and ask what adjustments He requires for your life so that you can once again enjoy fellowship with Him. Maybe you disobeyed His previous instructions to you, and He’s waiting on your obedience before giving you a new direction. It may be that there’s unconfessed sin in your life or that you have a damaged relationship with someone (see Isa. 1:15; 1 Pet. 3:7). It’s possible that you’ve done too much talking in your prayer times and that He wants you to listen. God’s silences can be powerful times for Him to communicate with you.
God is God! Because He’s God, He expects a listening ear and an eager response when He speaks. He won’t be mocked (see Gal. 6:7). Take Jonah, for example. He didn’t like the assignment God gave him. God directed him to leave his homeland and go to the enemy city of Nineveh, a hostile and evil center of idol worship. There Jonah was to warn the people of God’s impending judgment and urge them to repent.
The Hebrews hated the people of Nineveh, so the rebellious prophet fled in the opposite direction, hoping for a different word from God that was more to his liking. Instead, God was determined that his word to Jonah would be obeyed (see Isa. 55:10-11). When He spoke to Jonah again, His second message was the same as the first. However, during the interval, Jonah had been buffeted by storms and had traveled in the stomach of a fish for three days. This time he was prepared to hear God and do His bidding.
God also spoke to the prophet Jeremiah two times (see Jer. 33:1-3). But Jeremiah accepted God’s Word to him the first time. The second time God spoke gave Jeremiah a fuller revelation of what He’d first told him.
What God says to us next will depend on how we responded to His previous word to us. If, like Jonah, we disobeyed His earlier instructions, God will give them a second time. If we obeyed His first directive, as Jeremiah did, He will give us a fresh and deeper expression of His will (see Matt. 25:23).
If you haven’t received a fresh word from God, return to the previous directive God told you and examine your obedience. Is the Lord still waiting for your obedience? Seek to be like Jeremiah. Properly respond to your Lord’s instructions the first time.
When was the most recent time you knew God was speaking to you?
What was the most recent thing God revealed to you?
How did you respond to God’s direction?
What was the most meaningful statement or Scripture you read today?
Reword the statement or Scripture into a prayer of response to God.
What does God want you to do in response to today’s study? [Henry T. Blackaby, Richard Blackaby (2014). Seven Realities for Experiencing God – Member Book. LifeWay Press. Retrieved from https://read.lifeway.com]