An online forum I belong to has started having various members write daily thoughts or devotions for the community to read. Today was my day. Here is what I posted:
Have you ever experienced complete silence? I doubt it.
Even at your quietest moment, say in the still of the night or the dawn of the day, there is still noise. Even as I write this, it is night and quiet in my house. What do I hear right now? I hear the quiet hum of my computer fan running. I hear crickets chirping in my backyard. I hear the lull of street noise. It’s quiet…but it’s not quiet.
I heard once that scientists tried to create a “noise vaccuum” where there was complete silence. If you were in this bubble, you would hear nothing. And I heard that people would go crazy inside of this noise-less bubble because we are so used to noise.
Let me ask you this: when was the last time you really heard God’s voice?
Amos 8:11 (NIV)
11 “The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign LORD, “when I will send a famine through the land–not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD.”
In the context of this chapter, God is bringing His judgment against His people. They have sinned in a number of ways; they have trampled the needy and done away with the poor; they have done business dishonestly; they have honored the religious festivals externally, but not with their hearts.
And now, God is going to send a famine. And this famine will not be due to a lack of food or a lack of water. This famine will be “a famine of hearing the words of the LORD.”
People will wander all over trying to hear God. They will look for Him to speak. But He will not.
I have had moments in my life where, for the life of me, I do not feel like I can hear God. It’s as though He has just stopped talking. I listen harder and harder and search more and more, yet I cannot hear His voice.
Has this been true for you? Is this true for you today? Perhaps it’s because of some sin. When I cannot hear God’s voice now, I take a quick stock of myself. Have I sinned against Him? Have I sinned against His people? Have I dishonored Him in any way? Is my not being able to hear His voice a famine that I am experiencing?
If this famine is my fault (which it is), then I must repent and confess and be humble before God. I need His voice…I need His words. I cannot stand the famine.
If you cannot stand the silence either, you must also seek to find the cause of the famine and take the appropriate steps.