psalm xxviii – silence is hell

To You I will cry, O Lord my Rock:
Do not be silent to me,
Lest, if You are silent to me,
I become like those who go down to the pit.
Hear the voice of my supplications
When I cry to You,
When I lift up my hands toward Your holy sanctuary.

Do not take me away with the wicked
And with the workers of iniquity,
Who speak peace to their neighbors,
But evil is in their hearts.
Give them according to their deeds,
And according to the wickedness of their endeavors;
Give them according to the work of their hands;
Render to them what they deserve.
Because they do not regard the works of the Lord,
Nor the operation of His hands,
He shall destroy them
And not build them up.
Blessed be the Lord,
Because He has heard the voice of my supplications!
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped;
Therefore my heart greatly rejoices,
And with my song I will praise Him.

The Lord is their strength,
And He is the saving refuge of His anointed.
Save Your people,
And bless Your inheritance;
Shepherd them also,
And bear them up forever.

- ps xxviii (nkjv)

Do not be silent to me,
Lest, if You are silent to me,
I become like those who go down to the pit.

A silent god is the worst kind. A silent god cannot comfort or promise; it cannot protect or absolve. How can you entrust yourself to the void of silence and what good would it do? A silent god is a type of hell, a foretaste of a Word-less abyss; a perpetual famine of the Word (amos 8:11-13). We have no silent God, and the Psalmist knows.

The Psalmist knows that the Christian God is one Who speaks. He Who spoke all into existence (gen 1) continues to speak as He upholds the cosmos by His Word (heb 1:3). Our universe is Word-powered and Word-sustained. Silence on God’s part would be non-existence on our part. 

But our own words, inferior as they are, try to rewrite this Word to fit our purpose. Since the Fall, we have sent our own words out and tried to create and sustain reality for ourselves; this is only pollution. We scream out the pollution of “this life is all there is” and it doesn’t make it any more true, though the self-deceit it brings is palpable. Because of the hostile nature of this world, we cannot even see truly the Creator’s fingerprints on each aspect of creation. We may get glimpses, but we may only turn to the Scriptures for certainty; for the clear Voice. If all creation is white noise, the Word is a pure signal that conveys the truth.

In it we see Christ. He, who bought you, endured the silence the Psalmist anticipated and dreaded. He, the Word Himself, bore for us the fullness of silence on the cross. He knows the depth of that disconnection and the pain of every man, woman and child who ever prayed in their heart “God, I am lost. Please don’t be silent”.

He went to the pit that the Psalmist most feared and conquered it. The spectre of death was engulfed by Light and forever crippled. We no longer need fear the pit nor try to pollute this world with our own words because of it. We have the promises of Christ, the clear Word, who by the working of His Spirit we can hear.

What could be more important than hearing this Voice of the Word? It was for this reason the Spirit was given (john 16:13). Not to give us some experience of God apart from the Word but to permeate these physical words on the page with spiritual power, so He may convey to you salvation. He created by His Word, and He recreates you by His Word. He is never silent, and you will receive the clear Word of eternal life when you read this Psalm or any other. 

Do not be silent to me,
Lest, if You are silent to me,
I become like those who go down to the pit.

<— psalm xxvii psalm xxix —>