‘I cry out by day, but you do not answer’
The Father, Son and Holy Spirit have a loving, unbreakable, spectacular bond.
That touching moment when the Spirit of God descends at Jesus’ baptism and a voice from heaven says, ‘this is my Son, whom I love with him I am well pleased’ Mathew 3:16-17.
God speaks so thrillingly. The, Spirit flows so gloriously. Jesus buzzes with heavenly zeal to proclaim the ‘good news’.
There’s an incredible moment on the Mount of Transfiguration too.
The Lord and his disciples arrive at the summit to encounter the famous Old Testament prophets, Moses and Elijah. The two men return after an absence of more than a millennium. Yet they’re immediately identifiable and look dapper with gloried bodies. Quickly a cloud appears and mists the eyes of the awestruck disciples. A whooping voice shrieks.
‘this is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased’. Matthew 17: 1-8.
Not one person on the mountain forgot the tone of that soul shaking heavenly speech.
(Jesus) ‘received honour and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love with him I am well pleased”. 2 Peter1:17
Isn’t it great when the Holy Spirit tingle infiltrates our ears with the sensational voice of God?
Hope springs eternal. Hearts leap for joy.
It’s occurred to me that Jesus and the Holy Spirit and the Heavenly Father, have had more conversations together, than all the conversations jabbering on throughout world history. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit have exchanged a lot of words in the realms of infinity. We’ve not been privy to those conversations.
‘In the beginning’ before time and creatures were ‘was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God’ John 1:1
God the Father speaks to Jesus more than any other earthling. God speaks to Jesus more than He speaks to the disciples, prophets, priests, Virgin Mary or any other Christian. God speaks to Jesus more than he speaks to angels, cherubim, seraphim or celestial beings.
We’ve witnessed a snippet of these divine conversations. The Father speaks at Jesus’ baptism service. Wunderbar. The Father speaks on the Mount of Transfiguration. Wunderbar.
Yet as Jesus’ hands and feet are pierced and fastened with nails to a cross there’s a communication breakdown. No words are spoken from the clouds. No comments are made from heaven. The sounds of broken hearts weeping, and sinful hearts mocking are loud and clear. But the voice which speaks from the sky is silent
‘my God I cry out to you by day, but you do not answer’ Psalm 22:2
The Father’s not ignoring His Son. Rest assured. This is one of those occasions where some things are best left unsaid. We’re so fortunate that this conversation with Jesus never happened. God created more that day by not speaking than he ever created when He called the universe into existence.
We should keep in mind two observations about God’s silence
Firstly, God’s silence is not necessarily dishonouring.
For example. The 400 years silence between the writing of the Old and New Testaments was a significant part of God’s plan. The intertestamental period was no accident. Traditionally, it is considered to cover roughly four hundred years, spanning the ministry of Malachi (c. 420 BC) to the appearance of John the Baptist in the early 1st century AD, almost the same period as the Second Temple period (530 BC to 70 AD) Find out more https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intertestamental_period
There had been no official word from the Lord since the book of Malachi. But God was about to speak. In fact, God was about to say something with screeching decibel frequency which made the ears of mankind echo. God’s word boomed down from heaven in the form of Jesus Christ. Nothing had been said for four hundred years. A divine pause which lasted centuries. This long distant pause added emphasis to God’s great revelation of Jesus Christ. Likewise, with Jesus on the cross. God’s silence added emphasis to the great redemptive work in the crucifixion at Calvary.
Secondly, God’s silence does not mean that God is inactive
During the 400 years silence between the Old and New Testaments the world had experienced major developments.
There’d been unprecedented change over the four hundred years. The Persian dynasty reigned from 536 BC and coincided with some of the ‘Intertestamental’ period from 397-336 BC. After the Persians came the Greek era 336-323 BC. Followed by the Egyptian era 323-198 BC. The Syrian era 198-165 BC. The Maccabean era 165-63 BC. The Roman era 63-4 BC.
The providence of God shaped a new world order with the passing of time. Developing an ideal culture for the gospel to be proclaimed. Establishing the right political climate for the Messiah to fulfil His ministry. Just because God is silent does not mean He’s inactive.
God is never unduly silent. God’s silence is not insulting. His silence is not ignorance. His silence is not unloving. God’s silence is redemptive. No one knows that more than Jesus Christ.
This truth may be applied to our Christian life. We experience times when we are not hearing from God. There are times when we get no answers to prayers. But this silence is not dishonouring. Neither does the silence mean God is not working all things together to good on our behalf.
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