Read: Mt. 15:21-23 and Ps. 28:1
"But He answered her not a word..."
This morning I want us to consider the silence of God. There is no question about it, God has, at times, been silent. There is some 400 years between the message of the last prophet and the message of John the Baptist. Silent years where man did not hear from God!
No doubt there have been times when we have wanted to hear from God, and it seemed all heaven was silent. Perhaps some of you here today believe that God is giving you the 'silent treatment'. We ask ourselves why? Why would our God who loves us, and who has gone to great lengths to communicate with us through His Word and through the Holy Spirit as we study and read His Word keep silent?
I. Let me first take the negative approach to this question.
A. It is not because He is indifferent.
1. Article on the Deists.
2. God cares!
3. We are reminded of this fact when we consider Ro. 5:8.
B. It certainly is not because He is ignorant.
1. God knows what is going on in the lives of His children.
2. He is omniscient....all-knowing.
3. Note: Isaiah 46:9-10
C. It certainly is not because of any inability on His part.
1. God not only cares what is happening with His people, and is aware of what is happening with His people, but He is able to do something about it!
2. He is omnipotent...all-powerful.
3. Note: 2Peter 3:3-9
4. Look into the pages of history and you will find the mighty power of God exhibited time and time again...there is no inability with God!
II. Why is God Silent?
A. Because of the law of sowing and reaping. cf Galatians 6:7
1. Many do not believe God on this.
2. We sow and expect not to reap.
3. We sow and expect God to cancel out the harvest.
a. The thief on the cross still had to pay the consequences of his sinful lifestyle.
b. He was saved from hell, but still had to suffer the pain and death by crucifixion.
c. Calvary doesn't cancel out the harvest of sin.
4. This is a universal law that is both positive and negative.
5. If we sow good seed, we are guaranteed that we will reap a good harvest.
6. If we sow to the flesh we will reap corruption.
7. Sometimes God is silent, because of what we have sown.
B. Because of the law of chastening.
1. Where the law of sowing and reaping is a universal law, this law only applies to God's children.
2. This law is unusual and has abnormal consequences at times.
3. Note: David's sin. cf 2Sa. 12:13-14
a. The normal result would mean death for David.
b. But God said he wouldn't die, but his little child would.
c. David prayed and fasted for seven days, but God didn't answer.
4. It may be that God is silent toward you because of His chastisement.
5. We must ask God to show us what we did wrong and how to make it right. cf. Ps. 139:23
C. Because we are unaware of what is taking place.
1. There are things going on of which we are not aware.
2. Right now this earth is spinning around on its axis and revolving around the sun, but we cannot perceive that anything is going on!
3. The same is true spiritually!
4. God is at work and we are not aware of all the things that are happening.
a. God wants to take us to places we have never been.
b. Note the example of Abraham.
1) God didn't test Abraham to find out about him, He already knew all there was to know about Abraham.
2) God wanted Abraham to know his heart.
3) It was for Abraham's benefit that God tested his faith.
c. God wants to show us things that we have never seen.
d. Note the example of Mary and Martha. cf Jn. 11: 1-6 6.
1) Jesus stayed an extra two days before going to see about Lazarus.
2) God allowed Lazarus to die in order to show something greater.
e. Sometimes God is silent to us because we are unaware of what He is doing!
D. Because we do not approach God properly. cf Mt. 15:23
1. Note the improper approach. v22
a. This woman was not a Jew, she was a Canaanite.
b. She had no basis upon which to approach Christ.
c. Often people try to approach God improperly.
1) They may come on behalf of their own works.
2) They may try to approach on the basis of knowledge.
3) They may try to approach on the basis of heritage.
2. Note the proper approach. v25
a. When she changed her approach, Jesus responded.
b. She came humbly, worshiping the Lord and appealing to His grace.
c. She was willing to take the place of a dog.
d. She came without pretenses and was willing to accept whatever God would choose to give. v28
3. Often people pray and ask God to do things, but He doesn't respond because they do not approach Him properly!
Does it seem that God is silent? It may be because of the law of sowing and reaping. Does God not respond? It may be because of the law of chastening. Are we praying and not seeing our prayers answered? It may be because we are unaware of what God is doing in our lives. Is God silent? It may be that we are not approaching Him properly. Ps. 66:18, "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:"