The World is Loud, God is Quiet

I was reading ‘Tacitus’ this morning, his ‘Histories,’ and this includes a short description of the Jews and the fighting in Jerusalem during the ‘Jewish War.’  It is likely he obtained the story from Josephus who wrote his famous book concerning this event and I was taken with the noise of battle.

The Emperor Nero was informed of the Jewish revolt and sent Vespasian to Judea to deal with this.  During the years 67 and 68 A.D. Vespasian conquered the majority of the land, capturing Josephus in doing so, and during the 69th year he began to recognise that he was in line for the throne.  Therefore as three other men, Galba, Othos and Vitellius fought and died over the leadership he accepted the call to become Emperor.

Vespasian therefore began to collect his army and head for Rome, hindered only by the winter seas and opposing winds.  His son Titus, another efficient General, was with him during his conquest and Titus was charged with finishing the fight by taking the city of Jerusalem.  This was a hideous conflict.  The city was rent in three while different groups fought one another rather than the Romans.  The suffering of those trapped inside during this siege was appalling.  Titus’ army eventually crashed through the walls and slaughtered any who resisted.  Carnage and looting, destruction left and right, savagery and violence abounded.  Even the Temple at the centre of the city was torn down, as Jesus had said it would be.

As I read this short description I was struck by the noise.  The noise of battle is ferocious, the clash of metal weapons and armour, the noise as objects hurl through the air, shouts of encouragement and screams of pain all around until victory is won.

With Jesus this is not so.

Jesus does not scream and shout, his method is not one of noise, even though he is capable of noise if required.  His voice is the ‘still, small voice,’ the ‘whisper.’

Speaking to crowds Jesus spoke in parables so those ‘seeing could not see, and hearing could not hear’ something which confused me for years.  Yet many who heard him did not hear and repent, many who heard him then and indeed hear his words now miss what is said and go on their way.  Jesus spoke to individuals not crowds.  Possibly he did not know who was listening, he sometimes was shocked by those who showed faith, he merely spoke, not shouting, and the Holy Spirit did the work.

The Word of God quietly continues to work day by day and we do not see it.  The preacher speaks either well or badly, it matters not, as if the Holy Spirit is there to work someone will be touched by him.  This is a quiet work, not the raging sound of battle.  Jesus, God the Father, calls individuals to himself one by one and we do not know where he is working.  However we must witness for him, preach and teach if those are our callings and live for Jesus daily – otherwise all is lost.

God’s ‘still small voice,’ the ‘whisper,’ defeats the sound of battle.

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1 comment so far

  1. fishhawk on

    Well said.


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