The Classroom of Silence
Silence can be uncomfortable. Long stretches of silence during conversations make me impatient, I must confess. One reason why silence can be uncomfortable is because we are forced to think and focus on ourselves and we may be confronted with things we are not ready to face. The more busy we are, the more talkative we are, the more likely we are not to listen to our minds and hear things we do not like.
In the same vein, we do not like it when God is silent or asks us to be silent for a season. Many have gone ahead of God and pierced themselves with many sorrows because they could not handle the time of silence. When God is silent our first thought is that God is being slow and delaying us.
When God brought Joshua and Israel to take Jericho, God had not given Joshua any elaborate or grandiose battle plan, one that would make sense to the people and the soldiers. It was the first town given to the Israelites to take after they crossed the Jordan River. They came to Jericho bearing arms but God's battle plan did not involve arms.
He commanded the Israelites through Joshua to match around the wall of Jericho, once a day for six days, in silence and on the seventh day, skirt the wall seven times then give a loud shout on cue. "Now Joshua had commanded the people, saying, “You shall not shout or make any noise with your voice, nor shall a word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I say to you, ‘Shout!’ Then you shall shout.”" Joshua 6:10
So for six days they matched a few miles around Jericho once a day and in silence. They matched seven times in the same manner on the seventh day. At some point the people inside the walls must have thought these soldiers were crazy; the soldiers themselves must have wondered if this was really the way to go!
Yet in that period of silence, God was working and moving pieces around to deliver a crushing defeat to the folks inside those fortified walls. In that period of silence God was preparing their vocal chords to make a resounding noise to bring the fortified city to its knees. In that season of silence God was teaching them patience, faith and dependence on Him.
When God asks for your silence, ask for grace to comply; ask what He wants to teach you in that time. When that period comes to an end you will graduate in victory.