If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed in these chapters (like me), lean heavily into a good commentary. (Did you watch The Bible Project video? It’s helpful.)
I try to stay conceptual when I’m reading this book, and not get hung up on too many of the (way over my head) details. But today a few of the details jumped out to me:
“When the Lamb broke the seventh seal on the scroll, there was silence throughout heaven for about half an hour.” 8:1
Can you imagine such a dramatic pause? Even just a few moments of silence can seem daunting.
How often do you practice the discipline of silence? When you stop what you’re doing and simply revere God. I’m not sure I even do this on the days I read my Bible or have a “quiet time” with God. Sometimes I’m at home, with the hustle and bustle of young kids in the background. Maybe I’m at a coffee shop, dividing my attention between people-watching and sipping the perfect concoction of warmed milk and espresso. I’ll check my phone. Respond to a quick work email before I forget. Dig around in my gigantic purse for my chapstick. Crawl back out.
Seek God through moments of silence. Instead of indulging in one more episode on Netflix, flip off the tv, close your eyes and mediate on his greatness.
Why? What is there to get out of it?
- It’s an act of worship. By dropping everything and mediating on his presence, we are obeying his command to be still and know he is God. (Psalm 46:10)
- Jesus did it. Several times we read about Jesus going off to be by himself and pray. He gave up sleep to do it and he stepped out of social engagements to prioritize it. (Matthew 14:23, Luke 6:12)
- It draws us near to Him. With so many distractions grabbing our attention during the day, we don’t have a chance to encounter the Holy Spirit! He deserves to be prioritized. It’s in the silence moments that God reveals himself to us.
Challenge yourself this week. Set a 30 minute timer and sit in silence, revering God. Don’t expect to make it through uninterrupted the first time. If your mind wanders, or your phone rings, get right back on track. You’ll be amazed at how refreshed you feel from seemingly doing nothing. It’s hard! There’s a reason meditation is considered a discipline. Don’t let that stop you from pausing every day and acknowledging our great God.