Habakkuk, one of the minor prophets in the Bible, is one of the few books that expresses dialogue between a person and God. It’s a great picture of some aspects of the life of prayer! There’s honest outpouring of emotion, requests and pleading for intercession, worship, listening and being listened to, and yes, at times, silence. The dialogue crescendos to a call to silence.
Leading up to this moment, Habakkuk expresses two complaints that sound familiar to my heart. He asks a question I ask, “How long, Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen?” (Hab. 1:2) I am tempted to believe the lie that if my request is not seemingly resolved, then I am unheard. The distressed logic continues asking with Habakkuk, “Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves?” (Hab. 1:13), or perhaps in my own tongue, “Why aren’t you doing anything when things are going terribly wrong?”. I am tempted to believe the lie that silence means idleness. At the root, in both of these questions, I fear I am not cared for or loved because my requests are not fulfilled and there seems to be no response.
God loves us. God cares for us. God responds. He does hear us. He is living and active. To the lies of “God’s not listening” and “God’s idly inactive,” He declares: “For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.” (Hab. 1:5) God does hear us and is working; it just may be beyond our comprehension or awareness at the moment. God’s responses paint a picture of his power and redemptive work.
At the crescendo of the complaints and chaotic imagery, God ends with this line (Hab. 2:20):
“The Lord is in his holy temple;
let all the earth be silent before him.”
In response to complaints of God’s silence there is a call for all of us, all the earth, to be silent before God! He provides the perspective. God is still God. He is still in His place of authority. God literally hushes the lies and our very real fears, worry, and anguish, in addition to the chaos itself. He asks us to be silent before Him, our powerful God. Could we adopt a posture of silence with God, and embrace what our silence would imply? Trust. Dependence. Hope. Faith. Worship.
In silence, may we embody the truth that God does listen and care for us, saying with Habakkuk, “I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me…” (Hab. 2:1). And through that experience in silence may we come to declare the truth that God is active and we are loved, singing in hope and trust “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines… yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.” (Hab. 3:17-18)
We would like to invite you to an evening of silence before the Lord. Please join us for Silent Soaking Prayer on Saturday, October 26 from 7:30-9 pm in the Fellowship Hall. Come and go as you wish. Prayer ministers will silently interceded for all participants as you pray and listen to the Lord.