Psalm 4.4-5, “Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. (Selah) Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord.”
Psalm 37:7, “Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.”
Psalm 62:5-6, “Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken.”
Do you think that God knew weeks ago when I was planning this lesson that most of the world, at least 90% of the people in the USA, would be in solitary isolation practicing social distancing because of a virus that originated in China? Of course he did! He knew this Lenten season would be interrupted with a world-wide contagion that would take the lives of thousands and quarantine that many more to their homes for weeks.
So it’s also comes as no surprise that the topic of this lesson today is quietness. By quietness, I mean stillness, being quiet, allowing the deepest parts of your soul to rest in this moment. The Lenten journey, which is a journey to the cross, is filled with all kinds of expressions and desires. Just as Jesus was quiet before his accusers, so we can practice being silent today. Maybe you don’t want to take the whole day to be silent but give at least five minutes of stillness before the Lord.
The verses I have chosen today are all from the Psalms, probably my favorite book in the Bible next to the Gospel of John. Each of these verses has to do with being still and silent before God. Psalm 4.4 says “be angry but do not sin, ponder your own hearts on your beds, and be silent.” When was the last time we were awake and silent? We have Netflix or Fox News going round the clock. But imagine being silent and allowing God to speak?
Psalm 37:7 says, “Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.” Be still in God’s presence. Wait patiently for him to act. This might be the most difficult for me! I can be still, silent and quiet, as I am right now, writing this study. But to be patient! Come on! That’s impossible. Or is it?
And the final verse is Psalm 62:5-6 which tells us — “Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken.” I love that! “Let all that I am….wait quietly….before God. All that I am is all that God desires. He wants us to wake up and look at him face to face. He wants our souls to rest in him, listen to his call, delight in his presence. The psalmist David wrote these words — “He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken.
Today is a day about being quiet, being still, listening to the Lord. Put down the devices, turn off the TV, walk outside by yourself and wait for the Lord to speak. In this time of unspeakable pain, isolation and illness for so many, allow your time of quiet be a prayer for them, and for yourself.
“O Lord God, I am thinking, writing, but not speaking. I hear birds chirping, I see the blooms in the flowers and the green upon your creation. Come now, Holy Spirit, speak to me. “Let all that I am wait quietly before God…” For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen