February 28, 2008

Silence: to Prepare for the End

Habakkuk 2:2-3, 18-20

?The LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him.?
Habakkuk 2:20


The prophet Habakkuk lived in a time of great hopelessness and danger in Judah, about 20 years before Babylon destroyed Jerusalem. Except for a brief period of faithfulness to God under King Josiah, the past 200 years of Judah?s national life were marked by disobedience, idolatry, and injustice.

Habakkuk asked, ??How long, O Lord,? will things go on like this?? (see 1:2). The Lord?s reply, in our reading for today, warns about the foolishness of idolatry: ?Woe to him to says to wood, ?Come to life!?? Yet despite the people?s disobedience, God majestically finishes, ?But the Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him.? No matter how people live, all creatures and nations one day will fall silent before God?s rule?and worship. Worship begins in awe-filled silence.

Perhaps you live in a place of dreadful violence and social disintegration. It might seem that the Lord does not care what goes on. You might be fearful, worried, even cynical. Or maybe you live in a calm, prosperous land, experiencing no shortages or threats. Yet you experience life as flat, bland. That can be as bad! Remember Habakkuk?s concern. Believe God?s awe-inspiring response: No matter what happens, our God reigns.

How can you experience that presence? Return to Scripture and earlier meditations. Wait silently.

God of all, you began creation with silence. Help us find hints of new creation in our lives by listening in silence for you to speak. (Keep silent for a minute.) Amen.

About the author — James and Rose Dekker

James C. Dekker is the pastor of Covenant Christian Reformed Church in St. Catharines, Ontario. Previously he served other congregations in Alberta and Ontario. Rose Dekker serves as a refugee coordinator for the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee in Canada. She also serves as a certified spiritual director. The Dekkers were missionaries for nine years with Christian Reformed World Missions, serving in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Venezuela, and Cuba.

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