Silence before God
Today’s reading: Job 38-39; Acts 15:1-21
1 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said:
2 “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? 3 Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me. Job 38:1-3
11 But we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.” 12 And all the assembly fell silent, and they listened to Barnabas and Paul as they related what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles. Acts 15:11-12
It is good and instructive to the soul to be still before God, to listen to His Word, and to observe His mighty acts.
Job and his friends have ranted on for 35 of the first 37 chapters of the book. The complaining of Job did not relieve him nor vindicate him before his friends. His would-be counselors’ opinions and lectures did not strike home to either help Job or indict him. At last God interrupts the futile discussion and answers Job out of the whirlwind as he seems unable to hear anything soft and gentle. God hurls questions at Job to show him his weakness and ignorance. He can only be silent for he has no answers. He is stilled before the Almighty Creator who not only knows all things but has made all things.
God was also doing a great work in the days of the Apostles. The persecution sent the disciples everywhere proclaiming the gospel of the resurrected Christ. Even Gentiles heard and believed. Peter had seen this first. Paul and Barnabas were seeing amazing conversions of Gentiles, too. What should have been great news, however, was disturbing to some of the Jewish believers in Jerusalem. They could accept Gentile believers but not uncircumcised Gentile believers. We read of how the apostles called this counsel to discuss the question and to determine their policy on how Gentile believers should be treated in light of the law of Moses. Peter was helpful in clarifying the truth of the doctrine of salvation by grace alone for all who believe, Jews and Gentiles. Paul and Barnabas’ report of the work of God made all the assembly fall silent.
As we saw yesterday, there is a time to “stop and consider.” Stop the endless babble of personal opinion and pomposity. Consider what God has done in Creation and in Salvation. As the prophet wrote:
But the Lord is in his holy temple;
let all the earth keep silence before him.”