Saturday, September 3, 2016

Loud Silence

Saturday 9-3-2016 Home in Modesto
Scripture Reading: Eze 20 – 21    Psalm 111     Rev 8
S=Scripture O=Observation A=Application P=Prayer SOAP for the soul.

S.  Rev 8:1 When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. NKJV

O.  In the previous chapter of John’s heavenly vision we read: (Rev 7:9-10) “Behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!"  Until now… there have been loud sounds, voices like thunder and this multitude crying out praises in a loud voice. But as we launch into chapter 8, suddenly we are introduced to “heavenly silence.”

A.  Today our world is filled with sound more than ever before. I have visited homes where, with no one watching or paying the least attention, the TV is blasting away constantly. On the job, at Walmart, at the doctor’s office, there is a constant stream music and advertisements. In many small towns in Argentina, powerful loud speakers are mounted high on every street corner, carrying loud music intermingled with paid advertisements. I have often wished for silence. Even in our church services we are bombarded with sound. Sometimes, especially in Argentina, the electric bass and the drums are so loud I feel pain in my head and I use wax earplugs to preserve my delicate, fading hearing. One person leaves the pulpit and another steps up. What happened to silence? One can get so used to sound that he or she cannot sleep without constant background music. (*See P.S. below)

P.  Lord, I notice that You programmed heavenly silence into Your spectacular vision given to John. In total silence the incense of the prayers of the saints rises before Your Father’s throne… just before the final 6 trumpets sound to bring astounding tragedy upon the earth, to be followed by a 7th trumpet announcing a new heaven and a new earth. But the silence? Maybe it is the “silence before the storm”. Oh, how comforting to know that I am a child of Your care! Some of my descendants will almost certainly be upon this globe when worldwide calamity hits with these first 6 trumpet blasts. I pray for them. May they, every one of them, be sheltered under Your mercy, grace and eternal salvation!  Amen.


*P.S. We had a team of visiting pastors from the USA. I was driving, stuck in total gridlock on a four lane one-way avenue. Cars were packed so tight you could reach out and touch your neighbor’s vehicle. Nothing was moving. Within seconds the cacophony began. Everybody was blasting their horns. One of my visiting pastors asked me, “Ralph, what does that huge banner stretched across the street say in Spanish?” I looked up. It read “El Silencio es Salud,” “Silence is Health.” We all had a good laugh.

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