Oh, The Way We speak About God!

These things you have done, and I have been silent; you thought that I was one like yourself. But now I rebuke you and lay the charge before you.
Psalm 50:21

We have all done it; I have done it myself. I have been one of a company discussing religion and God and theology, and there we all sat in armchairs, discussing God. The amazing thing is that God tolerates us at all and that He does not wipe us out of existence! You remember what happened to Moses at the burning bush. He said, “What is this? This is an interesting phenomenon-I’m going to investigate it,” and he was on the point of approaching when the Voice came out of the bush and addressed him, saying, “Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground” (Exod. 3:5).

If you and I realized the real nature and being of God, we would stop speaking. We would stop mouthing these things and making our declarations. With job of old, when he really came into God’s presence, we would put our hands upon our mouths. We would be ashamed of ourselves for having spoken “unadvisedly with [our] lips” (Ps. 106:33), and we would be silent before Him. And that is the only right and true and appropriate attitude.

If you want to know anything about God and to be blessed by Him, then you do not start by speaking about Him, nor by thinking what you want to think about what God ought to be like or about what God ought to do. You just stop in silence, and you wait, and you listen, and you adore, and you look up. “The mighty God, even the LORD [Jehovah], hath spoken.”

Have you ever realized who God is? Everything in connection with religion is about Him. Christ came into the world and died. Why? To bring us to God. It is all about God. It is not some comfortable feeling that you and I have to strive for; it is not having your body healed or a thousand and one other things. The whole object of Christ and His death upon the cross, His burial, and His resurrection is to bring us to God. And the ultimate test of our profession of the Christian faith is our thoughts about God, our attitude in His presence, our reverence and godly fear because our God is a consuming fire.

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Seeking the Face of God: Nine Reflections on the Psalms (Kindle Edition)

  • Stan

    I understand what the author is driving at. Repeatedly throughout Scripture, an encounter with the presence of God generates silence; perhaps we could say the silence of awe, of wonder, of a sense of our own sinfulness, or as Revelation describes, the abject silence of the guilty; or simply the silence of speechlessness when words cannot begin to describe the glory, the holiness, the absolute grandeur of God.

    However, talking about God, when done without presumption or pride, is an important part of our learning process as human beings. We are even instructed to speak of Him among the nations. An encounter with God also inspires speech – the desire to talk of Him, as Andrew did with Peter, Philip with Nathaniel, the woman at the well with her acquaintances. Speaking of God, talking about Him, learning of Him through discussion and study is every bit as much a part of worshiping Him as is the silence inspired by the revelation of His presence. We need to learn to embrace both silence before God and speech about God and to recognize when each is appropriate.

  • Stan

    I understand what the author is driving at. Repeatedly throughout Scripture, an encounter with the presence of God generates silence; perhaps we could say the silence of awe, of wonder, of a sense of our own sinfulness, or as Revelation describes, the abject silence of the guilty; or simply the silence of speechlessness when words cannot begin to describe the glory, the holiness, the absolute grandeur of God.

    However, talking about God, when done without presumption or pride, is an important part of our learning process as human beings. We are even instructed to speak of Him among the nations. An encounter with God also inspires speech – the desire to talk of Him, as Andrew did with Peter, Philip with Nathaniel, the woman at the well with her acquaintances. Speaking of God, talking about Him, learning of Him through discussion and study is every bit as much a part of worshiping Him as is the silence inspired by the revelation of His presence. We need to learn to embrace both silence before God and speech about God and to recognize when each is appropriate.

  • thomsoncs

    Good words Aaron and Stan.  Agreed.