NASHVILLE (BP) — This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.
This week’s Bible study is adapted from the Explore the Bible curriculum.
Bible Passage: Psalm 42:1-11
Discussion Questions: Do times of God’s silence in our lives reveal more about God or about us? Explain. What is a person supposed to do when they need to hear God and yet He remains silent? How are we to respond during God’s silent times?
Food for Thought:
Nothing can be as frustrating as calling a loved one and they not answering. Being in a “crisis” only adds to the frustration. It doesn’t matter that the person you called is meeting with their boss, driving in torrential rain, or eating lunch with a friend facing cancer. We need to talk to them NOW. We may even call them repeatedly, hoping to communicate the urgency of our need. We may even send a text between call attempts. Continued unanswered calls only add to our frustration, making us more anxious and eventually angry. We may begin to wonder what we did to make them ignore us. We may even question if they really love us since we are no top priority at that point in their lives.
The psalmist faced a similar situation as he sought to hear from God, yet God remained silent. In Psalms 42, we find a person who found life to be unkind. Not revealing the unkindness, the psalmist simply stated that he longed for the days when he felt God’s presence. Life’s circumstances had pushed him to despair and his opponents were piling on, making the situation only worse. He repeatedly asked God to explain why these unkind events were happening, yet God remained silent. Refusing to wallow in doubt and self-pity, the psalmist continued to put his hope in God, focused on God’s faithfulness and continued praising God as his Savior.
When we face challenging times, we can be assured that God is still in control even in the silence. God has not stopped being God. To be honest, He hasn’t become silent either. He is still speaking and communicating, just not in the way we may want Him to communicate. Silence can be loud and we must realize the power of that silence. Are we willing to trust God in the silence? Are we willing to discover what He is teaching us in the silence? Are we willing to let Him love us in the silence or do we want to dictate how God will love us? The psalmist was learning that God is in control of the silence as well.
Explore the Bible
Explore the Bible is an ongoing Bible study curriculum that helps groups dig into the key truths of each Bible book, while keeping the group on pace to study through the Bible books in a systematic way. More information can be found at LifeWay.com/ExploreTheBible.