Waiting Out the Silence of God Job 23:1-10 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Job was suffering greatly and he was looking for an audience with God so he could get some answers as to why he was suffering so. For quite some time, God was silent. We learn from his experience that there are times when you want God to answer you and he seems not to hear your plea. So, today we are going to study waiting out the silence of God. What are we supposed to do when God is silent? Waiting out the silence of God takes:
Perseverance – Job – Job was going through a test – he was a pawn in a spiritual war between God and the devil – the battle wasn’t totally without benefit for Job because he was self-righteous – the Lord allowed Job to be tested until he repented of his righteousness and humbled himself – then the Lord blessed him abundantly and gave him twice as much as he started with when the trial began – Job had to persevere through his trial – likewise, there are times when the spiritual struggles in your life are for your benefit – the Lord isn’t going to answer you in times like these because he is molding you into something better than what you were [Rom 9:20-21] – you need to persevere through the trial until God establishes you in what he wants you to be [1 Pet 5:10] – it’s like trying to make a battle toughened soldier out of a 20 year old boy – there’s no explaining to do; he just has to go through it.
Perception – Joseph – Joseph suffered a great deal during his 13 years in prison – he was wrongly imprisoned based on a false accusation – he was sold into slavery because of envy – and yet he had to endure all of that until such time as he was released and promoted to be the second ruler in the country – Joseph didn’t need God to reassure him during his trial – God had already “spoken” on the matter – Joseph had seen the visions of God regarding his brothers bowing down to him and knew that they would come to pass – in our case, God often isn’t going to give you any perspective on your trouble other than what he has already written in his words – rather than cry out in anguish to God for an answer you need to study the scriptures and see what he has already said – then believe what he has said and live by those words – Joseph did [Gen 50:20].
Patience – Daniel – in Daniel chapter 10, Daniel receives an answer from the Lord after three weeks of limited fasting – the whole time he is waiting for the Lord to answer his prayer, he is clueless as to the delay – when the angel comes to reveal to him his vision, he then understands that the delay involved a spiritual battle between the angel and the “prince of Persia’ [one of the heavenly hosts opposed to the Lord] – there was nothing Daniel could do during this delay but wait – patience is required when you know you need an answer but there is an unexplained delay – perhaps the Lord is waiting for just the right time and anything before that would simply be too soon for you to know – after all, he is God and we are just humans and he really doesn’t owe us an explanation – learn to trust him even in his silence.
Penitence – Saul – in 1 Samuel 28, Saul decided to enquire of a woman who had a familiar spirit because the Lord would not answer him [v.6] – the Lord refused to answer him because he had sinned against the Lord – what he needed to do was repent – instead, he tried to circumvent the Lord and get the answer another way – Saul was rebellious, stubborn, disobedient and possessed with an evil spirit – when you get into that kind of shape you are not going to get much from the Lord in prayer, in Bible reading or in church – you are going to have to repent of the sin or sins that are separating you from the Lord.
Conclusion: concerning waiting out the silence of God there may be other things to consider but these four are certainly some of the most common things you will face – at times you need to persevere like Job and endure the suffering – at other times you need to perceive like Joseph and find the answers the Lord has already written in his words – still there are times when you need patience like Daniel to wait till god replies for whatever reason – and then you may need penitence like Saul before the Lord will break the silence – hopefully, you will find the Lord’s answers in his words – they are certainly the most reliable counsel you will receive.