Sir Robert Anderson wrote a book called “the Silence of God”. The purpose of the book was to deal with atheism’s claim that God’s non intervention and seeming inactivity in the woes of human existence, Christian or otherwise, was proof of His non-existence.
“A silent Heaven! Yes, but it is not the silence of callous indifference or helpless weakness.
It is the silence of a great sabbatic rest, the silence of a peace which is absolute and
profound silence which is the public pledge and proof that the way is open for the
guiltiest of mankind to draw near to God. When faith murmurs, and unbelief revolts, and
men challenge the Supreme to break that silence and declare Himself, how little do they
realize what the challenge means! It means the withdrawal of the amnesty; it means the
end of the reign of grace; it means the closing of the day of mercy and the dawning of the
day of wrath. Robert Anderson “The Silence of God”.”
While the Christian in times of trial and sorrow may be perplexed by God’s seeming distance and inactivity ,we remember that Christ Himself went through the same experience.
Anything we go through is made the worse by our grief stricken blindness.We can not see that God is there and abides with us.
It may be trite to say but this life is not all there is. Our sorrows and sufferings although they may be sharp are in the measure of eternity short.
God will deliver but when is up to Him. When He seems to smite He also upholds. If we could understand all the ways of God, He would not be God. For the believer in days like these faith our great need
But if the Christian has such difficulties in time of stress and strain, where will the unbeliever be found? The non christian’s sufferings will be equivalent to jumping from the frying fan into the fire.
“No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish Luke 13 :3”
“From then on Jesus began to preach, “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.””
In our day one could look at the Church and its silence on society’s rampant sin and immorality and make the same claim. Either parts of the church do not believe in sin, Hell and the need for repentance or they are embarrassed by them and have been howled down by the advocates of human sin in the name of freedom.
While it is true Christ in his ministry did not hit people over the head repeatedly with their sin, he never ignored it either. If His agony of the Cross says anything it is that sin has a terrible price. While we can honestly own our sinfulness and to being sinners this does not mean that salvation gives anyone a license to sin.
Even in this world sin has its consequences. People will rush into God displeasing ways of thinking and believing, they inevitably lead down to ruin . Sorrow and suffering devoid of Christ’s comfort and heaven’s home and rest for His children, is the inescapable result of life lived in disobedience to God and rejecting so great a salvation freely offered to all.
The Samaritan woman Jesus met at the well at Sychar was not the sort of person you would expect to take an interest in the religious and theological arguments of the day. It obviously did not carry over into her moral behavior as her past and present living arrangements would suggest.
Everybody has an opinion about politics and religion and other burning topics. We can all speculate and theorise till the cows come home. Like this woman our high minded opinions and search for truth and enlightenment do not stop our self indulgence and desire for gratification of sinful desires.
It is only by meeting Jesus that our pretences and façade are brushed aside and the sordid reality is held up to the light.
We see in Jesus’ dealing with the women no overt condemnation. While He acknowledged the sinful state she was living in ,He does not labour the fact. He instead offers her the water of life in the knowledge that those who drink that water receive cleansing and deliverance from sin’s bondage.
There is here a mixture of truth and tact that we would all do well to emulate. We are to speak out against sin in all its forms but in dealing with sinners we must remember that it is their salvation we seek not their condemnation.