Thursday, July 26, 2012

"Silence Is Golden"

By Tony Harriman  •

In the Bible record there are many things about which God is very quiet.  For reasons best known to himself, there are some mysteries for which we have very few clues, and, oddly enough, it is often those things that people spend more time thinking about.  Philosophers philosophize regarding the shadows of life cast forth from the original, unseen light.  Preachers preach long about the "secrets" of the Word and the "things hidden from man."  I often want to ask, "If it's so secret and hidden, how come YOU know about it?" What is it about that which has not been revealed that causes us to lose sleep thinking about it?  In the realm of conspiracy theories, the longest-lived are those that can be neither proven nor dismissed.  Now THAT is a mystery.

It seems to me that in His wisdom and understanding of the human psyche, God has remained very silent on so many topics, perhaps knowing that man will start to search out especially those things in his attempts to find Him.  And indeed, there appears to be a healthy mandate handed down from Heaven which counsels us (humanity) to search for God with every ounce of our being, and to learn of the meek and lowly Jesus; the promise is that we will eventually find Him, and see that He has been close at hand all along.  The trick appears to be … knowing where to start looking.

On the other hand, there seem to be no marching orders for the study of evil or demons or all things dark.  Don't misunderstand, knowing our enemy is more than half of winning the battle, but no matter how well versed we might become in how the Devil and his associates operate, it seems it will do us no good if we have spent no time in the arsenal learning how to access and use the weapons of protection from these angry creatures, namely, through a study of the Word of God regarding those things which HAVE been revealed.

Most people have a room in their home that they promise themselves one day they're gonna clean out.  Anyone who's ever visited my home will quickly recognize that the sacred place of mess where the Law of Attraction is working extremely well is in the garage.  You know how it is: over time things get buried under new projects or leftover pieces of this or that, and before you know it, the room is unmanageable.  Occasionally I'll be searching for something I know is there, and after considerable digging and shifting I suddenly come across something extremely useful that I had not been looking for.  In my experience, the Bible is a lot like that.  I'll be looking for something in particular: a name of one of the kings or disciples or whatever, when, pop! right out of the blue, there sits a useful nugget that was not on my agenda.  Sometimes I guess we just have to be in search mode to actually find anything at all.

There are books I read for entertainment; others I read for enlightenment.  I could give you a list of my favorite authors, but … some other time.  I have never found the Bible to be a good book to read just to pass the time (although it's odd how quickly time passes when you do start to read it).  More than a casual glimpse at, say, the Gospels, seems to offer the reader an excellent opportunity to read between the lines.  For instance, what few verses are recorded by Matthew, Mark and Luke regarding that which was spoken by Jesus during The Last Supper are expanded into five chapters by the Apostle John.  Really?  Did the other Gospel writers see no value in what Jesus had said?  Perhaps they missed it completely — too busy planning their new jobs.  Who knows?  An observation might be made in the reverse: Matthew, Mark and Luke go into great detail regarding the things Jesus said about the time of the end, but John barely makes a mention. With a bit of thought, when you put it all together, you end up with a much bigger picture of the circumstances — and the counsel.  So what might have seemed vague, suddenly becomes clearer.

We know very little about the place God calls "home," or if the expression "home" means to Him anything like it means to us.  He apparently has a house, and in that house are many spaces, spaces which Jesus said He was leaving to prepare more of — for us.    It's difficult to imagine a Being Who can stretch His arms across eternity actually pausing to put His feet up on a couch in a family room somewhere "out there."   And because it's hard for us to imagine, God says nothing about it.  He seems to speak to us in terms we CAN understand, at least a little bit.  He shows us Himself as royalty, on a throne, high and lifted up, with a river of life pouring forth from that throne, and a tree of life growing on both banks of that river, putting out leaves that heal; though how long that tree will live or how long the leaves will be needed is not shared.  I mean, what kind of healing will be needed in a place where there is no pain?  Through the Prophet Ezekiel God reveals to us an image of wheels for conveyance, but we aren't really sure what to make of that image.  Does God really travel by road in a chariot — with wheels? or are we being given a glimpse into the great concept of cycles — "What goes around comes around"?  He doesn't say.

There is very little doubt about the time of Jesus' death; we can tie a feast to it —Passover; in the Christian arena: Easter.  But no such feast marks the day of Jesus' birth.  Evidently it was not so important that God should preserve this detail, and endless arguments ensue.  A less sinister reason people may have for honoring the birth of Christ in December may simply be that it's as good a time as any.  People may reason that if God were so concerned about the date, He would tell us when it was.  But, mind you, is there counsel for honoring either birth OR death?  Maybe we do it because we want to, and that's that.  What?  Communion?  Showing the Lord's death until He comes?  Well, that gets a lot of mileage, doesn't it?  MUCH more than an anniversary, wouldn't you say?

And while we're thinking about the birth of Jesus, we should notice that NOTHING is said about the biology involved in His conception and prenatal development.  Our understanding of the need for fertilization and a certain number of chromosomes is given no heads-up whatsoever.  Wouldn't things be so much simpler if God would simply do things the way He's supposed to?  But there it is — Man's impossibility providing God yet another opportunity to do something incredible.  I wonder sometimes if He isn't trying to tell us something.

God has not made known to us the time of the Second-coming of Jesus, only the circumstances for arrival.  For many centuries the conditions have been ripe, and the arrival of Jesus has been "at hand."  But, for reasons God has chosen to keep to Himself, here we remain.  In classic heavenly fashion, I imagine the world will end at a time when we look not for it, and, dare I say, when it's not supposed to. 

Upon those things which God has been silent, He still has nothing to say — right now. But that may change … perhaps sooner, rather than later.  If God feels we know everything we need to know right now, who are we to argue?  Oh, that's right, we're the "Special" ones, the apple of His eye, the chosen and the redeemed.  Perhaps we would do well to read again the closing chapters of the Book of Job.  Though God asks Job a string of questions about the great wonders of the world, He offers no suggestions as to how He gets those things done.

If silence were to be valued as gold, God would be a very rich Man; but wait … isn't He already the owner of everything?  Is there anything He doesn't own?  He hasn't said.

As a final thought, our relationship to the Prince of Darkness is CLEARLY revealed and plainly set before us: The Devil is our enemy; he's out to kill us or use us to do harm or inflict pain on someone else.  But, thank heaven, we have counsel regarding this enemy of man which we would do well to remember: "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."  –James 4:7.  The imagery is priceless; this powerful, ancient, hateful being FLEEING (however an angel flees) from the face of our resistance.  I would LOVE to have eyes capable of seeing THAT.

Just my take on it ….


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