We’re going to briefly peak at Job’s situation, and his times of silence, which were many. You all know the story-how in one day, he lost his children, possessions, houses, and servants, except one. No wonder his wife advised him to “curse God and die!” Job 2: 9 (NIV)
His description of silence is intriguing. For Job uses the metaphor of darkness or death.
Job 23: 17 “Yet I am not silenced by the darkness, by the thick darkness that covers my face.” (NIV)
Even the prophet Samuel solidifies this thought in 1 Samuel 2: 9 “He will guard the feet of his faithful servants, but the wicked will be silenced in the place of darkness. ‘It is not by strength that one prevails.’” (NIV)
David also touts in Psalm 94: 17 “Unless the Lord had given me help, I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death.” (NIV)
Psalm 30: 9 “What is gained if I am silenced, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it proclaim your faithfulness?” (NIV)
Psalm 115: 17 “It is not the dead who praise the Lord, those who go down to the place of silence.” (NIV)
Darkness and silence are interchanged in these passages, which paints a picture of doom, despair, and depravity. Yet, Job, despite his trials, is silent when he needs to be, and speaks when he has something important to say—But not his three “friends.
” Although I wouldn’t consider them as such. Like Job’s wife, they wanted him to “curse God and die.” Job 2: 9 which, they believed, caused his perils. Later, God demands him to be silent.
Job 33: 31 “Pay attention, Job, and listen to me; be silent, and I will speak.“ (NIV)
In Job 33, God then begins his tirade to Job on His incomparable attributes. And, after reading them, one can’t but marvel at His power, sovereignty, and strength. I often find myself acknowledging Him in the rain, wind, or the beautiful falls in Yosemite. And, this year, they’re going to be gigantic!
I think God used Job’s silence to teach him humility, and patience. Of course, He does this to us, when we encounter obstacles in our lives. Are you going through a time of silence, or are you allowing it to strengthen your faith? Take a lesson from Job.
Lord, when our backs are up against the wall, help us to know that You’re there. And, if You’re silent for a time, help us to wait, as we know that You will eventually answer. Forgive us for our doubting, and bathe us with Your peace. We love You. In Your Precious Name, we pray. Amen!