Do you realize that SILENT and LISTEN contain the same letters only arranged differently?
James 1:19 says, “Everyone should be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.” “Quick to hear” requires us to LISTEN. “Slow to speak” encourages us to be SILENT.
If we are going to hear what is being said, we must be quiet. We must be SILENT and LISTEN. This is applicable regarding a conversation with another person or with God.
Proverbs 18:13 says, “To answer before listening– that is folly and shame.” Oops! I can be guilty of this. When I should be listening closely to what someone is saying, I may already be formulating my response in my mind. Because my mind is not SILENT, I do not LISTEN accurately.
The Lord says in Isaiah 28:23, “Give ear and hear My voice, listen and hear My words.” Jesus says in Luke 11:28, “Blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.” In both verses, being quiet (SILENT) is necessary to hear (LISTEN).
Let’s think about young Samuel’s experience in I Samuel 3. Samuel had lied down for the night. He was silent. God called to Samuel in verses 4, 6 and 8. Each time Samuel heard God but he thought it was Eli calling him. Eli realized that it was the Lord calling the boy. In verse 9 Eli said, “Go and lie down, and if He calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” Verse 10 says, “The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, ‘Samuel, Samuel!’ The Samuel said, ‘Speak, for your servant is listening.” The Lord revealed His plan to Samuel in verse 11. Because Samuel was SILENT, he was able to LISTEN to God.
We can learn through Samuel’s experience. In order for us to hear God speak, we must be willing to be quiet. We make space for God to speak through silence. It is hard for us to LISTEN if we are never SILENT!
Scripture encourages us to be silent. David says in Psalm 62:5, “My soul, wait in silence for God.” Psalm 37:7 says, “Be silent in the LORD’s presence and wait patiently for Him.” Ecclesiastes 3:7 tells us there is a time to keep silence.
While being silent, we must listen. Proverbs 19:20-21 tells us, “Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” Proverbs 8:32 says, “Now therefore, O sons, listen to Me, for blessed are they who keep My ways.” Jesus says in John 10:2, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” He also says in Matthew 11:15, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Whether the letters EILNST spell SILENT or LISTEN, God has a message for us.
Proverbs 10:19 says, “Transgression is at work where people talk too much, but anyone who holds his tongue is prudent.” With this being true, let us echo, Psalm 141:3, “O LORD,set a guard at my mouth. Keep watch over the door of my lips.”
The Lord instructs us in Isaiah 28:23, “Give ear and hear My voice, Listen and hear My words.” And Jesus says in Luke 11:28, “Blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.” These verses are good advice for us to be SILENT and LISTEN.
Let us listen to and obey the Lord’s words in Psalm 46:10. Be still, and know that I am God.