January 05 2023
Today, Thursday January 05
Silence, Prayer, Praise and Patience
“Blessed be the LORD, Because He has heard the voice of my supplications! The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him.
The LORD is their strength, And He is the saving refuge of His anointed. Save Your people, And bless Your inheritance; Shepherd them also, And bear them up forever.
The title that I would give to this entire Psalm is Silence, Prayer, Praise and Patience. Yesterday we talked about the “Silence of God”. In the devotional Utmost for His Highest, January 19 devotion, Oswald Chambers said, “Abraham went through thirteen years of silence, but in those years all self-sufficiency was destroyed; there was no possibility left of relying on common-sense ways. Those years of silence were a time of discipline, not of displeasure. Never pump up joy and confidence, but stay upon God (cf. Isa. 50:10, 11).”
In John 11, Mary and Martha had asked Jesus to come quickly to Bethany because their brother Lazarus was very sick. But Jesus tarried where He was and didn’t show up until four days after Lazarus had died. Mary and Martha both confronted the Lord saying, “If you had been here our brother would not have died.” They were very disappointed and didn’t understand God’s silence until a few hours later.
Again, Oswald Chambers in Utmost for His Highest devotional on October 11th, deals with the meaning of God’s silence with some great thoughts that I think bear sharing:
“Has God trusted you with a silence—a silence that is big with meaning? God's silences are His answers. Think of those days of absolute silence in the home at Bethany! Is there anything analogous to those days in your life? Can God trust you like that, or are you still asking for a visible answer? God will give you the blessings you ask if you will not go any further without them; but His silence is the sign that He is bringing you into a marvelous understanding of Himself.
Are you mourning before God because you have not had an audible response? You will find that God has trusted you in the most intimate way possible, with an absolute silence, not of despair, but of pleasure, because He saw that you could stand a bigger revelation.
If God has given you a silence, praise Him, He is bringing you into the great run of His purposes. The manifestation of the answer in time is a matter of God's sovereignty. Time is nothing to God. For a while you said—"I asked God to give me bread, and He gave me a stone." He did not, and today you find He gave you the bread of life.
A wonderful thing about God's silence is that the contagion of His stillness gets into you, and you become perfectly confident—"I know God has heard me." His silence is the proof that He has. As long as you have the idea that God will bless you in answer to prayer, He will do it, but He will never give you the grace of silence. If Jesus Christ is bringing you into the understanding that prayer is for the glorifying of His Father, He will give you the first sign of His intimacy—silence.” (You can’t say it better than that.)
Now in Psalm 28:6, suddenly, the scene changes and David is singing instead of sobbing! The reason is given in verse 7, "My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped". Faith in Jehovah made all the difference. The hands of the enemy were busy doing evil (v. 4), but when David believed God and lifted up his hands in prayer (v .2), then God's hands went to work and met the need (v. 5). Faith moves the hands of God, and God's hands control the universe.
David blessed the Lord for his deliverance and wasn't ashamed to confess it. His testimony was clear: "God heard me and God helped me! I trusted Him and now I praise Him!" David now had the strength to obey God's will, no matter what the enemy might do. He also had the Lord as his shield (3:3; 7:10; 18:2, 30; 33:20; 84:11; Gen. 15:1; Deut. 33:29). David had God's power and God's protection. How wonderful that David turned a painful experience into a song of praise to the Lord and that he left behind a witness that has encouraged other believers for centuries.
I trust that today we will be patient during the time of God’s silence and continue to pray and praise Him anyway!