There will be silence before You, and a praise in Zion, O God; To You the vow will be performed. O You who hears prayer, to You all men will come - Psalm 65:1-2 NASB
O God in Zion, to you even silence is praise! You who answers prayer, all of humanity comes before you with their requests.
- Psalm 65:1-2 TPT
Silence has a sound.
As an expression of worship, silence is an uncommon demonstration of the majestic complexities of the Most High God. This state of awe, quiet trust; confident waiting; expectation of divine aid is vividly portrayed in John’s vision from the Isle of Patmos:
When he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. - Revelation 8:1 NASB
The picture of silence at the opening of the seventh seal carries tremendous weight - the kind of weight that measures depth. One definition used to measure depth is called sounding.
Sound, as a measurement tool, makes it possible to determine both quality and source of origin. For instance, if a house is ‘sound’ we know the foundation is square and the materials are of highest caliber: sturdy & solid. A home, built upon a sound source, will have enduring qualities.
The silence depicted as worship, exampled in the passages supplied, presents this principle. Silence is qualified by both source and sound.
The Sound of Faith
Silence that brings honor to the Lord is built squarely on the foundation of faith. Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him as righteousness. It is the same with us: a decision to quietly trust and rely on God demonstrates righteousness born of faith in our lives. The Psalmist said:
I am humbled and quieted in your presence. Like a contented child who rests on its mother’s lap, I’m your resting child and my soul is content in you. Psalm 131:2 TPT
Father retains the right to scrutinize our faith. He will test us, extracting a sample response from us during seasons of choice or transition. In this manner He uncovers places within us that need to be measured for maturity, strength, or quality.
Abraham experienced several covenant encounters, as Father assured him of His trustworthiness. Imagine if Abraham had said, "Um, Lord, I'll take Issac up the mountain if you promise me beforehand that I won't have to sacrifice him on the altar. I'm more than willing to give up a sheep herd or two, and gift them to someone instead. Not this! No! Let's negotiate!" All attempts to manipulate Father's plan would have rendered Abraham disqualified at that juncture. The Lord would have needed to circle back around and train Abraham again in faith.
Silence Of Submission
The righteousness of Messiah produced silence before His accusers. Jesus stood in silence before Pontius Pilate as a means of submission and surrender to Father's ultimate purpose. It wasn’t until the High Priest used a point of the Law to adjure Jesus to respond that He did so [Matthew 26].
What if the Lamb of God would have said, "Hm. Let me get back to you on that. I need to think on it awhile." then promptly refused to consider the submission required for the Father's ultimate plan, or sulked at obedience until after the Passover? Procrastination, ambiguity, refusal to participate in the timing of the Creator? It's unthinkable from this side of the cross!
Jesus' actions were deemed righteous regarding Father's will and adherence to the Law. In silence and in speaking, Jesus actions produced honor unto the King.
The righteousness that speaks from faith is a mechanism of trust. Trusting in, and abiding in the confidence our covenant relationship will cause us to be still. In the stillness of trust, the sound of silence is deafening to the ears of the Holy One.
This is the glory spoken of when Bethany states: "Words don't always need to be spoken for the glory of God to be revealed." The manifest presence of God is able to be brought forward in any situation, a stance or worship and regard to the Holy, through the sound of silence.
"On the opposite end of the spectrum, perversion of worship can be identified as a source of silence." -Angela Broussard