Only in the sacredness of inward silence does the soul truly meet the secret, hiding God. The strength of resolve, which afterward shapes life, and mixes itself with action, is the fruit of those sacred, solitary moments. There is a divine depth in silence. We meet God alone. – Author: Frederick William Robertson
To address what we perceive to be the “silent treatment” from God, we must, by all necessity recognize that there is a silence in the first place. It means we must first make that initial recognition somewhere within our souls that there is a place we do not recognize within us that is starkly different from what we are used to experiencing, vastly contrasting with our “encoded status quo.”
We must not just acknowledge that our “encoded status quo” is being “tickled” by something or someone we do not recognize, but there is also, likewise, that inner sensation that we are being “tickled,” we are not so inclined to ignore it.
The noise we are all too familiar with is somehow now becoming an irritant. It is not just a small irritation otherwise we would continue to so easily dismiss it.
No! it becomes more and more noticeable – it is ever so slowly interjecting itself further and further into those places which were previously declared numb or even dead spaces in our souls and our lives, and they are now becoming alive.
These numbed or dead spaces within our souls suddenly becoming alive within us lack a specific name. We are complete strangers to such places awakening in us. These are places which possess no boundaries, sadly, lacks true definition.
All our conscious and unconscious efforts to suppress them completely fail us.
Now, out of nowhere, without any degree or measure of advanced warning there is that irrepressible urge to put “words” to our souls being “tickled.”
“Yo! Anybody who is listening to me right now –
Pray! Tell Me PLEASE, what is Up with my Soul!”
Psalm 28 Complete Jewish Bible
28 (0) By David:
(1) Adonai, I am calling to you;
my Rock, don’t be deaf to my cry.
For if you answer me with silence,
I will be like those who fall in a pit.
2 Hear the sound of my prayers
when I cry to you,
when I lift my hands
toward your holy sanctuary.
3 Don’t drag me off with the wicked,
with those whose deeds are evil;
they speak words of peace to their fellowmen,
but evil is in their hearts.
4 Pay them back for their deeds,
as befits their evil acts;
repay them for what they have done,
give them what they deserve.
5 For they don’t understand the deeds of Adonai
or what he has done.
He will break them down;
he will not build them up.
6 Blessed be Adonai,
for he heard my voice as I prayed for mercy.
7 Adonai is my strength and shield;
in him my heart trusted, and I have been helped.
Therefore my heart is filled with joy,
and I will sing praises to him.
8 Adonai is strength for [his people],
a stronghold of salvation to his anointed.
9 Save your people! Bless your heritage!
Shepherd them and carry them forever!
The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.
Psalm 28:1-2 Amplified Bible
A Prayer for Help, and Praise for Its Answer.
A Psalm of David.
28 To you I call, O Lord,
My rock, do not be deaf to me,
For if You are silent to me,
I will become like those who go down to the pit (grave).
Hear the voice of my supplication (specific requests, humble entreaties) as I cry to You for help,
As I lift up my hands and heart toward Your innermost sanctuary (Holy of Holies).
David’s soul is and has been trying to get David’s attention.
How long David’s soul has been “tickling him” we cannot say?
We cannot put a specific period of time to this – moments, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months or an indeterminate number of years, even decades.
We can say that finally David’s soul has been reached and David recognizes it.
David and his soul are clearly in a space neither of them likes nor appreciates.
David, “a man after God’s own heart,” puts his words and his soul in the same room at the same time and gives them both free reign to say what must be said.
We, ourselves, in this 21st century whirlwind, must now lend our souls to this ancient “heart to soul to God” silent or raucous conversation, its implications.
David tells us in verse one that if the Lord will not hear his prayer that he would be like one of those who go down to the pit.
I take this to mean that this was not only a life and death situation but that it also very likely had some deeply significant eternal implications as well.
I say this because of verses 3-5 where the wicked men who show no regard for the Lord will be torn down and the Lord will not build them back up again.
David, a “man after God’s own heart” now confessing himself as “wicked” and having “no regard for the Lord” with no foreseeable measure or degree of hope?
I suppose that we could all agree that life has its ups and down’s.
Those who identify themselves as “struggling” today may not be in the future and those that identify themselves as “carefree” today may have a whole lot of concerns next week.
These are the “regular” ebbs and tides of life, liberty, pursuit of joy we accept, acknowledge and readily recognize and “live” as being a “normal part of life.”
Yet, here in verse one David is praying from a place of urgency and great need.
Life might be so good for you right now that you cannot identify with David here.
However, I bet you personally know someone who could be praying like David is right here.
There are friends of mine who are facing some really tough situations, and some are even wondering if they will recover from these things.
When David starts this Psalm, he both inwardly, outwardly prays to the LORD.
In other words, David prays by using the personal name of God.
He knows who he is praying to, he knows the nature and character of the Lord.
I try to keep this in mind when I pray too. If I am facing an overwhelming trial.
From that undefinable place of silence, which is now alive and well within me, I cry out to the LORD who delivered His people from their not so silent cries.
I pray to the LORD whose steadfast love is enduring and whose mercy is new every morning.
When I seek the LORD with these things in mind I am encouraged, and my faith is made strong.
I really like verse two. It is this verse that sheds some light on to the specific things David mentioned in verse one.
For example, not only does David pray in verse two but we discover that he prays over and over again for mercy.
David says, “Hear the voice of my pleas for mercy.”
I am glad that David models for us the consistency that he had both in prayer and the theology behind his words.
David needs help and so he prays, raises hands, and pleas to the Lord for mercy.
Then David says, “…when I lift up my hands toward your most holy sanctuary.”
I love this part.
Notice that David lifts not only his souls undefinable place of silence but also his hands and turns away from himself and toward the most holy sanctuary.
Let me share with you what I like about this. Each week I face things that overwhelm me as the writer of this blog. If nothing else does this to me, I know turning to the Word of God through my devotional define my “soul’s silence.”
My silence will be given a defining voice. As the week goes on, I find myself more and more research and study and prayer busying myself with that task.
So much so that I freely admit God is busy not being silent, and I find myself and my soul both figuratively and quite literally, losing much sleep over it.
The Holy Spirit living within me intercedes and “tickles” my soul to find God.
Here David speaks of men and workers of evil. He speaks of those who speak well to their neighbor, but they have evil in their hearts.
Perhaps his soul is referring David back to himself and his whole host of actions contrary to the will of God – David and Bathsheba, Uriah the Hittite, Failures as king and as a father, Ceaseless Palace Intrigue, Absalom’s death, His Census.
Yet, even when David and his soul are facing such people, David takes time to “enter the holy of holies” God’s sanctuary, to raise up his hands to the Lord. David’s inward silence becomes David’s soul’s outward expression of prayer.
He ceases from the everyday pressing business of “royal intrigue” and the concerns and lifts his hands. You may think that this is a small thing, but I really do not think that this is a minor deal. I bet many souls struggle to still their hands and stop their work to lift their hands and souls up to the Lord.
I want “my soul’s silence” to be more like David’s – expressed through prayer.
Did you notice what the Holy Spirit and David’s soul compel David to do next?
He turns toward the most holy sanctuary.
You see, when my good friend asked me how we can help ‘souls’ in “our spheres of influence (which means quite literally everyone) and our church turn to God in the midst of their troubles I immediately recognized the voice of God speaking, acknowledging these verses.
That is exactly what David does here.
Picture David in your mind praying while looking at these wicked men in front of him in his mirror. Then all of a sudden David turns from them and sets his gaze to the most holy sanctuary. What an image. Even if he had enemies in that direction it seems to me that David is now looking beyond them to the LORD.
Imagine how transforming it would be for us if we would do this in some way.
Say I am struggling with some teaching in scripture. If I would look in the direction of our Holy Lord in that moment things would get clearer.
Say that I am struggling with my soul to forgive myself or someone else. If I would look at the Holy Lord and what does for me, I would quickly forgive.
When I find the cares of this world and see the wickedness all around me and it is all staring back at me, my soul’s and my greatest comfort would come when I would set my gaze upon the Holy Lord. This perspective would change it all.
“Bless the Lord, O, My Soul! And all that is within me, BLESS His Holy Name!”
“Bless the Lord, O, My Soul, and forget NONE of His Benefits!”
In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,
Let us Pray,
Holy God, make me a partaker of your Holy Spirit. Enlighten me, oh, God. May I taste this heavenly gift that you reserve for your righteous people. Cleanse me of any barriers in my heart and mind and soul that may stop me from feeling your presence in me. Flood any dark spots in my heart with your light. Help me to walk in your light and shine your beauty and grace on everyone I meet. Amen.
|Hymn:||When, In Our Music, God Is Glorified|
|Words:||F Pratt Green (1903-2000)|
|Music:||C V Stanford (1852-1924)|
When in our music God is glorified,
And adoration leaves no room for pride,
It is as though the whole creation cried
How often, making music, we have found
A new dimension in the world of sound,
As worship moved us to a more profound
So has the Church, in liturgy and song,
In faith and love, through centuries of wrong,
Borne witness to the truth in ev’ry tongue,
And did not Jesus sing a psalm that night
When utmost evil strove against the Light?
Then let us sing, for whom he won the fight,
Let ev’ry instrument be tuned for praise!
Let all rejoice who have a voice to raise!
And may God give us faith to sing always