Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.
In 1968 there was a man whose job was to record nature sounds for films and television. He would pack up his recording equipment, hike out into the wilderness, drop his gear, and then return later for the undisturbed natural sound. In order to achieve 1 hour of unaffected sound, no planes or sirens or human presence, it would take 15 hours of recording time.
Today, the same man continues to record and when he wants to get 1 hour of unaffected nature sounds, it takes 2000 hours of recording time.
We live in loud world.
Most cars now come with separate audio systems for the front and back so that passengers can listen to different music. You can buy clothing with wires stitched into the fabric so that you can have music in your ears wherever you go. I even saw a commercial last week of a couple out in the wilderness camping and they were unable to sleep because it was too quiet and they then started playing “soothing city noises” of traffic and horns honking on their phones in order to fall asleep.
What does it say about us when we now have apps to help us sleep with the sounds of pedestrians and road rage?
What does it say about us when we need to have sound and music playing whenever we’re in the car, whenever we’re sitting in the backyard, or whenever we’re walking down the street?
What does it say about us when most of squirm and uncomfortably cough when we’re asked to pray silently in church on Sunday for all of 15 seconds?
Many of us want the same things as the psalmist; we want to hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace to his people. But how can we ever expect to hear God speak when our ears are filled with the sounds of life that bang and clash and hum over and over?
When was the last time you were intentionally quiet for ten minutes? What is it about silence that makes it so difficult? Why is it so much easier to be surrounded by noise than to stop and listen?
There are times when God will speak to us through loud and cacophonous means, but there are other times when God shows up in the silence, if we are willing to listen.