And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. [Revelation 8:1 AV]
Today is often referred to as Silent Saturday, because The Bible tells us so little of what happened on the day after the day of preparation, as Good Friday is described.
I have read several attempts to come to grips with this notion of a day where God seemingly did nothing in the middle of this crucial event. God was silent.
There is the suggestion that God was testing the patience of His church, or that - as it was the Hebrew Sabbath - that it was a day of rest and prayer. For myself, I have often felt that the third day was of significance - that the Easter story was revealed over three days - and thus the second day must have it's own importance in the unfolding truth; and when I asked The Lord what the answer might be, He showed me the Scripture verse above - Revelation 8, verse 1.
When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. [NKJV]
The seventh seal was the final seal to be opened, and John then saw the seven angels who stand before God being given seven trumpets. Seven in The Bible represents the completion of something, as we know, and the word used here is sphragis, a signet, or 'that by which anything is confirmed, proved or authenticated'. So the silence was the result of God's confirmed work. When God speaks, the rest is silence, to quote Shakespeare's Hamlet.
I have often found that The Lord is silent after I have prayed, and I believe that the silence is itself an answer, as if the Lord is saying "Now wait and watch."
To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: ...
A time to tear, and a time to sew, a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; [Ecclesiastes 3:1+7 NKJV]
I also heard some years ago that when the egg is fertilised in the womb, there is a pause of 'about half an hour' before anything happens. I have been unable to find confirmation of this, but the idea of life being renewed and restored - resurrection - is the Easter story ...
... and God's silence is always a sign of His love.
O The Love of My Lord (Gentle As Silence)
O the love of my Lord is the essence
Of all that I have here on earth
All the beauty I see He has given to me
And His giving is gentle as silence
Every day, every hour, every moment,
Has been blesses by the strength of His love
At the turn of each tide He is here at my side
And his touch is as gentle as silence
There have been times when I’ve turned from his presence
And I have walked other paths, other ways
But I’ve called on His name in the dark of my shame
And His mercy was gentle as silence
"Gentle As Silence" as sung on BBC TV's Songs of Praise programme some years ago.
GEORGE and GILL STEWART
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