[00:00:00] Good morning to each and every one of you. And welcome, and welcome to those of you who are in any of our sites, wherever you are. And I want to welcome those of you who are watching this online, wherever you are. And I happen to know. That Jessica is watching this. Jessica is in banner hospitals, children's oncology ward with her daughter who is receiving her very last round of chemotherapy.
[00:00:24] And we want you to know Jessica. We are with you and we understand, and we appreciate you. And also wherever you are in the world, around the country or in the world, wherever meant we are, we're glad that you're with us. So, uh, it's hard to believe, uh, but Christmas. And I'm just curious, those of you who are in the room with me and you do this wherever you are, how many of you, when Christmas rolls around you go, yes, it's my favorite time of year.
[00:00:49] Raise your hand. You can't wait for Christmas. Raise your hand. Look around how many of you have the exact opposite reaction? Raise your hand. Okay, there we go. I don't know where you are on that spectrum. I tend to be more in the yay. I love this time of. Uh, but it's amazing to me how fast it comes and it's so quickly rolls around.
[00:01:07] And so we're here and we're beginning, we're beginning our series on Christmas today. In fact, our theme this year is the word crescendo. All right. Now crescendo is obviously a musical term, but Christian. Uh, what it implies is to rise in intensity, to literally increase the intensity of something. In fact, let me give you the actual definition.
[00:01:29] Um, I've, I've, I've pasted like three of these together, so you're going to, you're going to, they're going to sound familiar, but literally crescendo a gradual steady increase in loudness or force a steady increase in force or intensity that climactic point or. In such an increase or to simply peak. Now what we're going to do this year, what we're going to do, uh, throughout our Christmas season is we're literally going to move from silence to celebrate.
[00:01:59] From silence to celebration. In fact, today, we're going to begin with the word silence. All right. Now I know that you might have a hard time associating Christmas with silence, but that's where it all begins. I want to show you that every week in this series is going to raise its intensity level and is literally going to come to a, to a crescendo, but, but going to begin with silence now, silence.
[00:02:21] When it comes to Christmas, he was like the last word you'd ever use. Most of us associate Christmas, a lot of. Uh, you know, a lot of hassle, a lot of hustle, you know, shopping, carols, you know, kids, noise, noise, noise, noise, and you think of silence. You probably think of the word calm and you think of calm is anything but Christmas, because Christmas is, it's a hurry.
[00:02:43] It's chaos. It's stress. It's thanks so much to do in so little time, but I do want you to understand that Christmas is all built around the idea of anticipation and just simply go back to being the. With a little loop. She used to make a little construction paper and you put the twenty-five loops on your refrigerator.
[00:03:03] Was I the only one that ever did this? And then you take one off cause you couldn't wait because it was building, it was building this building. And so our Christmas program is literally going to crescendo on Christmas. And we're going to, we're going to get there a week at a time, and I'm excited about that.
[00:03:21] All right. Now I want to explain something and this can be a little bit awkward today. Just let's just acknowledge it because I'm going to begin by talking about silence and that the Christmas story has to begin in silence. Now I doubt very seriously you've ever considered this, or you've given much thought to it.
[00:03:40] So it's going to seem a little more. But I want to talk today, literally about hearing the silence. Now, what I want to do is I want to show you something that I think is important for, if you want to understand your Bible, you're going to want to understand that. So here's what I need you to do. Find it in your Bible, the book of Malakai.
[00:04:00] Now you're not going to Malikai. I got no idea where Malakai is. Malakai will be the very last book in the old. So literally the old Testament's going to end about two thirds. If you have a physical Bible like this, it's going to be about two thirds of the way through. Just find the book of Malakai, the very last book, uh, of the, uh, of the old Testament, by the way, it's an, he's not, he's a prop Malakai surprise.
[00:04:27] He's not Italian. Cause some people want to call them Malachi case. It's Malakai. All right. So Malakai is going to in the old Testament, he's a prophet and he's going to say something God's going to speak through him and he's going to set up something that we now know as the 400 years of silence right now, this will make sense.
[00:04:51] But at the very end of the book of Malakai in chapter four, verse five, we read these words. All right. See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that. Great. And dreadful day of the Lord comes. Now there's two things that are said there that the prophet Elijah is going to come. And that day, the dreadful day of the Lord.
[00:05:12] Okay. Well, first off, Elijah, we'll talk about him and then we'll talk about this dreadful day of the Lord found. Let me talk about that first, the dreadful day of the Lord is not what it sounds like. And that's an unfortunate translation. Uh, if you, if you go to the English standard version, it says this behold, I will send you a light to the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes.
[00:05:36] Now, here's the deal that the idea of Jesus coming is either going to be good news or bad is either awesome, or it's a dreadful, depending on your relationship to Jesus. The second coming of Jesus Christ is either going to be awesome or dreadful based on your relationship with Jesus. It's either going to be that greatest day or it's going to be the worst day.
[00:05:58] It all depends on where you are with God. So you can use these words in a different context, depending on how are you related to God, what's that relationship. So if you're right with God, it's awesome because what's going to happen. Malakai is prophecy. That Alijah is going to come and then Jesus is going to come and you got to get ready.
[00:06:22] Now when he says Jesus is going to come, I'm going to give you a S or when he says Elijah is going to come, I'm going to give you a spoiler alert right now. I'm going to jump into next week's message for just a moment, because I want to show you something that Alijah is going to come, and Jesus is going to tell them.
[00:06:40] Who Elijah was when he shows up. Now I know this is going to sound confusing. Stay with me. It's not hard that a person is going to appear. In fact, look at the last verse of the old Testament, Malakai four, six, it says this, this Elijah that's going to return. He will turn the hearts of the parents, to their children and the hearts of the children to their parents.
[00:07:07] That literally this guy is going to turn the heart of the nation back to God is the idea Jesus is going to make it very, very clear. Spoiler alert that John the Baptist is a Lija, uh, coming from. Now we'll get to that next week. Now, Elijah coming, Elijah's a big deal. Elijah is one of the major prophets of the old Testament.
[00:07:31] Elijah was bold. He was outspoken. He was brave. He was the antithesis of the guy. We just studied the last four weeks, Jonah. He was the exact opposite. Elijah was an incredibly powerful man. And Jesus says he's going to lit or Malakai says he's going to hit the scene before the day of the Lord comes. And the day of the Lord is the day of Jesus.
[00:07:54] John, the Baptist is coming. He's going to be born six months ahead of Jesus. So get ready. All right. Now I need you to understand this is where we're going to stop right here. I need you to lock and load with me here. 400 years after Malakai says this for 400 years. Nothing is going to happen for 400 years.
[00:08:19] There's going to be no prophecies. They're going to be no profits, right? There's going to be no, that says the Lord for 400 years after he said that statement, they held their breath in suspense, waiting for Elijah to come 400 years of nothing whatsoever. Now I need to explain something and get stable.
[00:08:44] All the time up to the end of the clothes of Malakai, the clothes of the old Testament. God was prophesied about the coming of this incredible Messiah. We know as Jesus. And in fact, let me show you something. Let me just show you a couple of the ones that you're more familiar with. There. There's lots of prophecies about the coming of the Messiah, but let me show you some that you will associate with Christmas.
[00:09:07] Okay. Like for instance, 700 years before Jesus. The prophet, Isaiah, he said this Isaiah seven, 14, therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. You'll know the savior has come. When you see this, the Virgin will conceive and give birth to a son and we'll call him Emmanuelle. When you see that, you know, that's the Messiah, if you jump ahead.
[00:09:35] Okay. So now we come to the actual time of the birth of Jesus. And by the way, the birth of Jesus is recorded in two of the biographers of Jesus Matthew. So member Matthew, mark, Luke, and John are all four biographers of Jesus, Matthew and Luke. Give us the details about his birth, the most clear details. So Isaiah, 700 years before the birth of Christ said, he's coming.
[00:10:00] They're going to call him Emmanuelle in Matthew chapter one, verse 22 and 23. It says all this took place. This is about Jesus. All of this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet. Isaiah, the Virgin will conceive and give birth to a son and they will call him Emmanuelle, which means God with us.
[00:10:20] Emmanuel is just a compound. It's three, three words in Hebrew shoved together Emmanuelle. Alright. Isaiah also said this you're very familiar with this passage, Isaiah chapter. 700 years before the time of Jesus for the west, the child is born to us. A son is given and the government will be on his shoulders and he will be called wonderful counselor, mighty God, everlasting father, prince of peace.
[00:10:44] You could hear the soundtrack in your head, right of the greatness of his government and peace. There will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom establishing and holding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and for forever, the zeal of the Lord almighty will accomplish.
[00:11:02] It Luke, we read this. It's the fulfillment of that prophecy, Luke, 1 31 on down. You will conceive and give birth to a son and you were to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called son of the most high the Lord. God will give him the throne of his father, David and will reign over Jacob's descendants forever.
[00:11:23] His kingdom will never end prophecy, fulfillment, prophecy. One of the most obvious ones is where he's going to be born. The prophet, Micah, Micah said this, and you can find this in chapter five, verse two, but you Bethlehem a path though. You are small among the clans of Judah out of you will come from me.
[00:11:42] One who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from old, from ancient times, a little tiny village, about six miles from the capital. Jerusalem is this little village called Bethel. And Micah said hundreds of years before the Messiah is going to be born there in Matthew chapter two, verse one, it says after Jesus was born in Bethlehem, in Judea, you don't plan the place you're going to be born.
[00:12:11] You're born where you're born during the time of king Herod magic from the east, came to Jerusalem and asked, where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and we have. To worship him now, here's what I need you to understand. So 700 plus years before the time of Jesus prophecies were made, we can read that prophecy fulfilled at the time of Jesus and we can go, well, what what's the big deal is that it was going to happen.
[00:12:38] And it happened. We have perspective of time. We're so many years past this, we look back on it as history. And so 700 years before when a version's going to get burned, you got to go. You're kidding. That never had. What's going to get ready when you see that you'll know, it's kind of like this, if you've ever seen a suspenseful movie, which you have, if you've ever sat through a suspenseful movie and you the first time through you're so scared, you're so anxious.
[00:13:08] You're psych reacting to everything. You've got like, oh no, don't open the door. Right? Because you don't know. But once you've seen the movie, you bring your friends. And you're watching the they'll get it. So uptight, nice. Nothing. There's nothing behind that door, you know, because you've seen it. That's our deal.
[00:13:27] We look back on this. How many things have you worried about in your lifetime when you were younger, that you were so afraid we're going to happen and here you are, you're fine. You have the perspective of time to look back and go. It all worked out fine. Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday, you made that.
[00:13:47] But time gives you perspective. And so many things that happened to us in our lives. And you might be in the midst of this right now. Something's happening to you right now. And it's just shaking your last year job. The, the downturn in the economy, this new thing with this new this new thing, you know, Yeah, you fail the class and in school, you, I mean, any number of things, uh, their relationship just broke up with you.
[00:14:18] You could see end of the world in the moment, it seems like it's the end of the world. But with the perspective of time, you're going to look back on that and go, you know what? That was actually the greatest thing could ever happen to me. I just didn't know. These guys are living through scripture that we are not having to live through.
[00:14:37] We had to look back on it and we go, what were you so worried about? What were you so nervous about now? Here's the deal? The silence of God is always unnerving. Let's just acknowledge that it is for me. It, it is for you. It's always unnerving. You go 400 years from the time Malakai said this, nothing.
[00:15:00] Forehead. Where did God go? Did you leave the building? God, what happened 400 years now over the last, you know, 2000 plus years, and then 400 more you go, it says nothing is a blip on the radar before a hundred years is a long 400 years is longer than, uh, the United States has been in existence. You remember hearing about Manhattan being sold for $24?
[00:15:28] That was 400 years ago. That was 400 years ago. Hey, you remember learning the Galileo figured out that the planets rotate around the sun, not the earth. That was 400 years ago. The ever seen the Taj Mahal in India that was 400 years ago that that was built 400 years is a long time when you're living in.
[00:15:52] 400 years without hearing from God. And you begin to wa like, God, where did you go? Can you imagine, just imagine how many years have to pass without hearing from God before you give up on God. This is very real folks. Very real. How many years of silence does it take for you to believe God's turned his back on you and will never speak to you again?
[00:16:17] 400 years? How many for you? W we get so uptight about this. So incredibly uncomfortable. Can you imagine being a parent of faith in that era and you're, you're teaching your kids what yet, but God promised and we believe because he promised, but, but mom, but daddy, nothing, but we believe anyway, you, you know why this matters because on this state of, of where we are right now, Jesus Christ said is going to come back.
[00:16:53] This was talking about his first coming. We're talking about a second coming. He said, he's coming back. He'll you know what? Yeah, that's 2000 a long time. Would it be possible that time is different to God than it is to us? 400 years. Seems like it's so long. And I don't know, man, I don't know if he's coming back 2000 years seems like a long time.
[00:17:16] Let's just kind of hold onto that for just a moment. We're going to put that in perspective. Now I really wish I could walk you through this, but I just simply don't have the time right now to do this, or we'd be here too long, but I want to explain something to you. If you go to the book of Daniel now, Daniel has a whole lot to do with the birth of Jesus.
[00:17:38] Daniel is talking about things that are going to happen in the future. And by the way, did you ever wonder why the wise men from the east showed up? When they saw the star and went to find the king of the Jews, baby born king of the Jews, because hundreds of years, before the Babylonians captured Jerusalem, they ransacked it and they took some prisoners captive the Babylonian captivity, and they hauled off a guy named Daniel and his buddies, Meeshack, Shadrach, and Abednego.
[00:18:11] Remember this, and they held them hostage in their country in battle. If you read the book of Daniel, you start to realize that Daniel begins to rise in prom. All of these guys do, but Daniel rises in prominence and he starts teaching people about a day. That's coming when a Messiah is going to be born in Bethlehem and he's going to be the king of the Jews.
[00:18:32] And when you see his star, you know, it's happened. So hundreds of years, God's setting the stage for the birth of Jesus. Now in the second chapter of the book of Daniel, again, I don't have time to read it right now. Read it when you get home. And the second chapter of the book of Daniel, the king of Babylon, a guy named never condenser has a dream and he doesn't, he doesn't remember the Dre and he can't like figure it out.
[00:18:58] And so he goes to his diviners, his Wiseman, his seers, this fortune tellers, all of those people that are into that stuff. And he says, Hey, I need you to tell me my dream and what it. And they're all I go and look, dude, there's like, no way you need to tell us, you need to give us some detail here. And he's like, no, if you're worth what you're being paid, you figure it out.
[00:19:22] And they all go, no. And then he says, I'm going to execute all of you. You guys are a bunch of frauds. You're a bunch of phoneys and he's going to execute them all. Well, Daniel would have been executed because he was kind of in that camp at that time in his career. And so Daniel says, whoa, whoa, whoa, slow down.
[00:19:39] Let me pray to God. And let me ask God, if you'll give me the interpretation of the dream and then I'll, I'll tell you the dream anyway, read the second chapter of Daniel. You'll get the whole story. So basically he goes into the and he says, let me tell you what your dream was. Now. I don't have time to explain all this, but he basically says, here's your dream.
[00:20:02] You're the king right now. You're the king of Babylon. Your empire is going to fall. It's going to give way to a second empire. That empire is going to rise and it's going to fall. And it's going to give way to a third empire. That empire is going to rise and it's going to fall. And it's going to give way to a fourth empire.
[00:20:17] That's going to rise and ultimately fall. And this is what you dreamed about. And Nebuchadnezzar goes, that is exactly what I dreamed about. Let me explain to you what he is. He said, um, your empire is going to give way to a second. He's going to give way to a Thursday to give way to a. All of this happened in history in the 400 year period where God wasn't doing anything except fulfilling what he said was going to happen.
[00:20:46] Folks, the Babylonian empire gave way to the middle Persian empire, which gave way to Alexander the great and the Greek empire, which gave way to Rome and the Roman empire at the time of Jesus, the Roman empire, the fourth one is the one in. It's exactly what Daniel said was going to happen. God said, this is what God told me to tell you.
[00:21:05] Four kingdoms are coming and they're going to rise and they're going to fall. Jesus was born in the fourth of those four. I'll show you something else. Interesting. In the 11th chapter of Daniel, there's a prophecy about a guy, a problem child is going to grow up. There's going to be, there's going to be a pur, a detestable.
[00:21:23] Person's gonna rise. Let me read it to you. All right, Daniel 1121. He will succeed. He will be succeeded. Excuse me. He will be succeeded by a contemptible person who has not been given the honor of royalty. He will invade the kingdom when its people feel secure and will seize it through intrigue. Some guy is going to come up.
[00:21:47] He's going to feel like he's in charge and he's going to do despicable things. Well, a couple of hundred years before the time of Jesus. Greek of those four kingdoms during the Greek era. And by the way, in the prophecy in Daniel, he said the third one's going to live a short life. Alexander, the great died very young.
[00:22:07] If you don't, if you know that, okay, he died young and his kingdom was divided between four generals and they placed different leaders. They placed a guy named Antiochus Epiphanes over the area of Israel and Tia KIS. Epiphanes he was a group. He, he was a Hellenistic. He believed in Greek gods and Greek ideology.
[00:22:29] He basically said to the Jewish people that he took over, he said no more of this Hebrew stuff. No more of the law. No more of the Torah. No more of the Sabbath. No more of your festivals. No more of your eat. You're eating the food you eat. He basically outlawed that the Hebrew tradition. That Israel had been living by.
[00:22:53] He basically, this is no longer the most despicable thing he did was he took a pig and he went into the temple. The second temple that was built, he w he took a pig and he sacrificed the pig to Zeus on the temple altar. That was for y'all way that led to a revolt called the Maccabean rule. Judas Maccabeus rises up with his family.
[00:23:20] And a whole bunch of people am basically run off this crazy guy. And by the way, his name was Antiochus. Epiphanes that the, this general, uh, the magnificent one, the mighty one of God is that he took that title. This is this Greek guy and the Hebrew people, uh, named him Antiochus Epiphanes, uh, EPA minus the madman, this crazy, all of this happened.
[00:23:46] All of this happened in this 400 years. Well, God wasn't doing anything except fulfilling what he said was going to happen. And in time you can look back at and you go, that's exactly what happened in the middle of it. It's hard to see it as hard to understand it. And here's what I want to get to God is doing all this stuff.
[00:24:03] All right. Keep thinking about the second coming. Keep thinking about the second coming wins are going to happen. Wins are going to happen. And folks, I don't know when it's going to. I can guarantee you it's one day closer than it was yesterday. And I think it's imminent. I think it's coming sooner than we know, but, but we're on this side of it and we don't know, but, but I want to explain on the first coming of Jesus, I want to show you something that the new Testament and the new Testament begins with the birth of Jesus.
[00:24:34] If you, if you don't understand that, get that. The new Testament begins. The new covenant begins. The old covenant was Mount Sinai and the law and the 10 commandments. The new covenant is in the blood of Jesus, not of, of animals. All right. It's in the blood of Jesus. The new covenant begins with the birth of Jesus, Galatians chapter four, verses four and five says this, but when the set time had fully come stop, heart stop.
[00:25:02] What's that? When everything God said was going to happen had happened when the set time had fully come, God sent his son born of a woman, born under the law to redeem those under the law that we might receive adoption to sonship. He's fulfilling the old Testament and he's beginning the new covenant.
[00:25:23] All right. Now here's so I don't have a lot of time, but here's what I want to say about the silence. The silence of God, that 400 years is not the only time God's been silent is always unnerving when God is silent, like where did you go? Why is he not talking? Uh, I need you to understand right now you might be going through a period in your life where you feel like God is silent.
[00:25:47] God, where are you? Where are you right now? I feel like I'm praying and you're not answering. I'm going to suggest to you. Three things that God might be doing in his silence to teach you something, to teach me something three, three things. All right. Uh, distinct lessons. Number one, sometimes God uses a silence to teach us to listen.
[00:26:13] Sometimes God goes quiet. So we will go quiet and listen. Um, silence. This is call it out, man. It just makes us uncomfortable. I'd stop talking right now. And we just said. Okay. We'd all be going. That's weird. What's happening in here? I don't know why it makes us so long. We need noise. We crave noise, noise, occupies us noise.
[00:26:36] Comforts us noise. Distracts us. Let me ask you a question. How's God going to break through that noise. I promise you this. God's not going to scream at you. Guy's not going to throw himself on the ground and throw a tantrum to get you to listen to him. Like your kid. He's not going to do that. If you're talking, you're not listening.
[00:27:00] If you're talking, you're not listening. How's God going to get us to listen. You don't want one church did, by the way, I think this is fascinating. One church recorded a Christmas worship album and you know what? It was nothing but silence. That's the stupidest thing ever sold people bought it. How is God going to speak where you would hear him when you're talking, you're not listening.
[00:27:30] So I'm 46 10 says be still and know that I am God, I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth. Be still sheesh. When the noise of your life has turned up to an 11 on a scale of one to 10, you're not going to hear anything. I remember being a youth pastor. One of the things that you know, you guys are, so you guys are seriously awesome at listening.
[00:27:55] You are fantastic. You, or at least you look like your list. It lists, I dunno, what did he just say? He said something when I was a youth pastor, man, you know, we'd have this many kids and it'd be so chaotic. I'd get up and it's time us to go to the Bible. And like I knew I couldn't talk over the kids. So, you know, how, what I learned is just, you just have to stand here in silence and eventually the kids start to kind of tap in one another sh Hey, and eventually, you know, silence breeds, silence.
[00:28:24] So God's maybe trying to teach you to listen by being silent in your life. Right now, he's silent right now, trying to teach you to listen. Second thing you might be trying to teach you is. Teaching you to wait, let's be honest here about this. We hate to wait. Let's be candid. We did test waiting. We, we, we, I'm so tired of waiting.
[00:28:45] Isn't this, the curse of our age. We were talking about this. Some of our staff this week, we're talking about how incredibly impatient we become. We were talking about like texting and, uh, you know, texting is instant messaging. Like I'm sending you a text and you know what you expect when you text. And immediate response.
[00:29:03] I just texted you and then you see those three little dots and you're like, come on already, get back to me. And then the dots disappear and you about lose your mind. Like how dare you not answer me. We live in a world where everything has been sped up. We, we, uh, we, we paid for prime on. Guaranteed two day shipping.
[00:29:27] I ain't waiting two days anymore. Come on. I want to, how do I got to do to get that tonight? And now this is like one hour delivery. That's more like it. And they're dealing with now. They're they're testing with drones. Got to get that stuff. I don't know about you. I, I, I read a lot of books. I also listened to a lot of books.
[00:29:47] I listen on audible. You know how I listen on audible minimum two X, two. Twice as fast, often it's faster. It depends on how slow the narrator is, but I'm in a three times I come on, hurry up. I got other books to read. It's incredible. What's happened to us. You, you, you, you need to find an address. We'll just put the address in your Google and guess what?
[00:30:11] It'll give you three routes and it'll tie each of the routes and you get to pick which one, why I'm taking the shortest one, the shortest one in the shortest time. And you click on it. It'll tell you how to go that route for folks. We hate w we hate waiting. Uh, my family and I were at Disneyland this past week.
[00:30:33] And guess what? There's lines of Disneyland. And you're standing in this line and you're like, how long is this? But you know, what Disneyland does is they put all these kinds of things to entertain you while you're waiting. Right? Keep you occupied while you're waiting. Guess what? Life will not do that for you.
[00:30:48] It's simply will not do. And, uh, we have as a people that can, let's just call this out. We have tried to speed up everything, everything. Now, listen to me, look at me. You know what? You can not yet speed up. Nobody's figured it out. How long does it take for a baby to be born nine months, man, we're talking about humans by the way, nine months.
[00:31:18] Come on. Let's move. I don't. We do that in half the time. No, you can't. That's why we say we're expecting, we're not waiting. We're expecting. Cause we, it's not like, Hey, it's only been three months maybe today. Like no it's nine months expect that it's going to take nine months. Could God be causing you to just wait so you can learn what silence can do for you.
[00:31:48] Second Peter three eight says, but do not forget this one thing. Dear friends with the Lord a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years, or like a day. God just doesn't get in a hurry. You go, God. When are you coming back? I'll be there tomorrow. A minute. Guys have been 2000 years. Yeah. Two moments.
[00:32:08] Relax. Just wait. I hate to wait. So God uses us silence to listen, to wait, learn to wait. And third one to teach us to trust. Man, it's timeless just makes us uncomfortable. And silence has this, that we'll just whatever it takes to take away the silence, just take away this. And by the way, do you know that get on YouTube and, and you realize that there are people trying to set the record now for how long they can sit in silence and they have silent rooms that you live in.
[00:32:41] Can go and see how long silence drives us mad. It literally, we hate silence. It just doesn't. It just does something makes us so anxious. Why, why does silence make us so anxious? Because it makes us feel alone to feel fearful, to feel vulnerable, to feel unprotected. I'm productive. What happens with God?
[00:33:08] Listen to me, this man. And when God doesn't speak and you're being forced to trust you, you have some blink, uh, data points. You, I don't know why I don't understand. And I don't, and it doesn't. And you know, what we tend to do is we, we start to put our worst neurosis in the blame. Well, you know what this could mean, and this is the worst possible outcome.
[00:33:31] It could mean this. It could mean that. And, and, and we, our brains will automatically fill it in with the most neurotic conclusion, connecting these dots. And God's just going, what are you doing? Why do we do that? We think we have it all figured out. It's interesting. If you want to know what it feels like to wonder where God went, read the book of John.
[00:33:57] The first 37 chapters of the Booker job, our job just basically going, God, I don't get any of this. And, and he is distressed. There's no way around it. The silence has got a frustrated, got him fearful. He's dealing with all kinds of difficulty in 37 chapters. He's got a deal with this job. 30 20 says I cry out to you God, but you do not answer.
[00:34:20] I stand up, but you merely look at me. This is frustration. Got to answer me. In July 30, 1, 35, all that. I had someone to hear me. I signed now my defense, let the almighty answer me, let my accuser put his indictment in writing God. What are you doing? And he's frustrated. You get to chapter 40 though. And it's shifts.
[00:34:43] It says this job 40 verse one. The Lord said to job will the one who contends with the almighty.
[00:34:54] Let him who accuses God to answer him, talking to job, then job answered the Lord. Look, I'm unworthy. How can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth. I spoke once, but I have no answer twice, but I'll say no more. In other words, JoVE learned to shut his mouth when it came to complainant about God's silence to God.
[00:35:13] I don't know anything. So let me wrap this up and. Let me just point out God uses silence sometimes to teach us, to listen sometimes to teach us, to wait sometimes to teach us to trust and the bottom line. And this is what is so hard about silence is we go, God, give me an answer, explain this to me. Why are you not, why did you and fill the rest of the sentence?
[00:35:40] And however you. And we love to say if I were God, if I were God, and then we finished this, if I were God, I would never have let that the thought as if we have the mind of God. Like if we, as if we understood all that, he understands, I think of Isaiah 55, 8 and nine from my thoughts are not your thoughts.
[00:36:02] Neither are my ways. Your ways declares the Lord as the heavens are higher than the earth shore, my ways higher than your ways. And my thoughts. Then your thoughts, you know, it's fascinating to me that God says anything to us ever. It's fascinating to me that we have a book that we can turn to and we can go.
[00:36:23] And then God said, and then God said, and then God said he didn't have to say anything to us. He owes us no communication. And for 400 years, From the prophecy and Malakai to the birth of John the Baptist 400 years. But you want to know today who hears God best
[00:36:49] the one who listens the closest to the voice of God. That will be the one who hears God, God will speak. God will come here. But he will speak to the person who is actually listening. If you want a big idea from this message is this God's silence is not the same as God's absence and that's worth knowing God's silence is not the same as his absence.
[00:37:14] So I want to close with a story. It's a true story. No doubt. You've heard of little one, uh, Beethoven at age 30 in 1801. He, uh, began to go. And he described it this way from a distance. I do not hear the high notes of the instruments and the singers, voices that each 30, you might remember, uh, about a year and a half ago, I interviewed a Harvard professor.
[00:37:37] We put it, I turned it into a weekend message. Albertson's. Uh, and we, we talked about stuff going on in our society, but he, he wrote about this era of Beethoven's life, about his going death. And he talked about how Beethoven raged against this injustice. He was so angry that he was losing his hearing and he would take his anger out on his piano and he'd hit the key.
[00:38:03] So forcefully it actually damaged the pianos. He would. As this hearing continued to go away. Uh, and it did go away. He would, uh, by age 45 is just totally deaf. He would hold a pencil in his mouth and he put the pencil up against the soundboard on the piano and he would hear the chords through his mouth as it would reverberate through his body.
[00:38:28] Uh, Arthur Brooks talks about the fact that his famous ninth simple. Was recorded at the stage of his life. The ninth symphony is known as one of the pivotal moments in classical music's history. It changed the entire way we hear classical music. Beethoven was deaf when he did it, when you composed it.
[00:38:49] And then this sentence Brooks wrote, I want to just close. It seems a mystery that Beethoven became more original and brilliant as a computer, as a composer in inverse proportion to his ability to hear deafness freed, Beethoven as a composer because he no longer had society's soundtrack in his ears.
[00:39:18] Can I confess something to you? I have society soundtrack in my ears.
[00:39:30] I wonder if God sometimes says, I just need to take away your hearing because you're hearing all the wrong things.
[00:39:41] God's silence is not the same as his absence. He uses silence to teach us to listen, to wait, to try. Now 400 years, and then it's going to rise and its intensity. We'll pick that up next week. Let's pray. So God, uh, calm us down. When we don't hear from you take away the anxiety and the uncomfortability of silence.
[00:40:07] God help us to realize that this story, this birth story begins with 400 years of silence. It's not, there's no noise. No you're fulfilling what you said you would do. And it's all happening in this 400 years. You're not speaking, you're just doing what you said you were going to do. And here we are all these years later, looking back at the birth of Jesus.
[00:40:27] And of course we believe that happened, but you speak about a second coming and it's so easy to just throw it out and believe it's not going to happen. God, give us perspective with you a thousand years is, but a moment in a moment, a thousand years, and God used to simply say, well, And then you'll do what you said.
[00:40:49] You'll do. So give us perspective and I pray for this in Jesus name. Amen.