Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Silence is praise

Psalms 65

1 Silence is praise to you,
Zion-dwelling God,
And also obedience.
2 You hear the prayer in it all.

We all arrive at your doorstep sooner
or later
, loaded with guilt,
3 Our sins too much for us
but you get rid of them once and for all.
4 Blessed are the chosen! Blessed the guest
at home in your place!
We expect our fill of good things
in your house, your heavenly manse.
5 All your salvation wonders
are on display in your trophy room.
Earth-Tamer, Ocean-Pourer,
6 Mountain-Maker, Hill-Dresser,
7 Muzzler of sea storm and wave crash,
of mobs in noisy riot — 
8 Far and wide they'll come to a stop,
they'll stare in awe, in wonder.

Dawn and dusk take turns
calling, "Come and worship."

This Psalm is so beautiful I wanted to break it into two posts, so I could think about it.  Just like a good Father would do with his child on earth.  The hard words about what we say in Psalm 64 are followed by encouragement.  Silence and obedience are considered our praise to God.  I tend to babble.  So this stands out a great deal to me. In  Psalm 46, God says, "Be still, and know that I am God..." NKJV 

Sometimes emotions and thoughts get the best of me, I try and pray and all that comes out is confusion or doubt.  The best thing to do during these times, and maybe a few moments anytime is simply to be quiet, know God is God.  Be silent.  In verse 8 it says both dawn and dusk calls us to worship.  Morning and evening take a moment to be silent.  Some denominations are better at understanding silence without music than others.  But I still believe worship through singing is also awesome!   Our lives on earth will end one day.  That's a fact.  When we die we will know how we lived our lives, we will know guilt or forgiveness.  In verse 4, God's house is described as a  house, a heavenly mansion.  Jesus also described His house in the New Testament:

14 "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.  2 In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.  4 And where I go you know, and the way you know."

There's just one problem, on our own we're not good enough to get in...  We all know that deep down.  There's guilt and shame where we've failed in our lives.  Jesus described the solution this way:
John 3:16-17
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

This description was written by someone who considered himself the worst of all sinners.  The apostle Paul killed Christians for a living before he accepted Christ. His words are clearly inspired by God and experience.
Eph 2:8-10
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

In the Old Testament the priests made sacrifices of animals to God as a payment for man's sin.  This went well for awhile, until the priests became corrupt, no longer represented the people, nor cared about God.  Jesus came to be our priest and the only acceptable sacrifice to God.  He is God's Son.  He is God.  A trinity that's hard for us to understand.  God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all one God but have different forms.  So when Jesus died on the cross, God became man and also became the sacrifice for our sin.  By accepting His sacrifice, and our need for it (by confessing our sin), we are forgiven and set free from our guilt (requiring faith and the belief that this is true).  Then the Holy Spirit can dwell in us and counsel us and lead us to repentance.  Jesus works on our behalf as our advocate in Heaven protecting us from Satan's lies.  God is still the Earth-Tamer, Ocean-Pourer, Mountain-Maker, Hill-Dresser, and the Muzzler of storms.  Now we can know Him in our hearts by His Holy Spirit, and be silent knowing He is God.  Our sacrifice of praise.  Not much to ask of us considering what He's done.


  1. Beautifully and thoughtfully written. I really love the concept of this blog Karen as I am always try to be better at reading my Bible and really allowing it to sink in and fill my heart. Your blog is a beautiful way of doing that!

    I am also a bit of a babbler.:) I know God values silence but it's a tough one to learn. I admire people who can sit and just be still in the presence of God! But every day is a new day to become better and try harder!:)

    Such a lovely blog! Have a great day today!
    (I added you to my blogroll so I can find you easily again, hope that's ok!:)

  2. Thanks Colleen! I did the same, so I could find you. It's always so great to find positive and encouraging Christian writing. You have a great day as well! I agree every day is a new day to try again and start over.