Why is God Silent?

Have you ever wondered why God does not speak in an audible voice to those who call upon Him? Most wish that He would speak to them with clarity while others are just fine not hearing his voice at all. One of my favorite artist, Matisyahu, has a popular song called “Silence“. The words of the song says, Bring my broken heart to an invisible king with a hope one day you might answer me, so I pray don’t you abandon me. Your silence kills me; I wouldn’t have it any other way. Is it wrong to think you might speak to me? You might speak, would it be words and what would you say? It’s so heavy a heavy price to pay“. It seems that he was able to capture the essence of all who seek the face of the Creator.

Why is He silent?

Some would argue that G-D is not silent at all, He speaks through Torah. There are others who say the Creator speaks through our circumstances in life. If you were to take the time to ask others, you may be given many different answers. Regardless of the answers the fundamental question often remains unanswered for those who struggle in their faith. I am not putting myself out as the residential expert on the matter. However I have spent over forty years on this journey and have made a few observations.  I would like to share them with you.

There is a purpose for the silence

You might say, “what is the purpose for the silence?” It seems that the King of the Universe is determined to only speak to His creation in the manner that He chooses.  The question most of us ask is, why? According to the sages mankind’s lowered state does not allow Him to hear nor see G-D except through the methods HaShem, Blessed be He, has chosen. Is it possible that silence is the very thing which causes mankind to seek Him? What appears to be silence on behalf of our Creator is not silence at all. In reality I believe that He is speaking all the time.  The problem seems to be that most of us are not listening. We have not tuned our hearts, eyes and ears to the voice of G-D.

How does G-D speak

We are very familiar with the term “Shema“. It is the first Hebrew word of the central prayer of Judaism. The word means to hear, listen and do. The concept is that hearing or listening can only be fully realized in doing what is spoken. One cannot say that they listen to G-D if they are not following Torah. The Jewish concept of “Shema” is a recognition of the communication followed by action to respond to the one who communicates. This mitzvah established the principle mode of communication between the Creator and His creation. Since He expects His people to “Shema”, listen and do, then it is reasonable to expect that He communicates in the same manner.  Let me explain.

Many places within Torah we read that G-D “shema”  listened, harkened, heard the cry of the people. We know that He hears us when we pray, but how do we hear His voice? Hearing the voice of the King is to observe His actions. Remember that “Shema” is to listen and do. If we want to hear the voice of HaShem speak in our lives then we have to engage in a whole new level of observation.  Why? Because when G-D speaks it becomes evident by His actions. Creation was established by His Word, so it makes sense that He still speaks through His creation. The voice of God is all around us. He speaks to us through circumstances, people, and most importantly through Torah. So if you want to hear the voice of G-D in your life start looking around. Open your spiritual eyes to see He “Shema” your prayers.  It may be a friend, colleague or even a stranger who breaks the silence you perceive.  It could be an event that causes you to hear the voice of G-D. One thing for sure He hears the cries of His people and will respond in kind.  It is up to us to tune our spiritual ears to hear the voice of our G-D.

I would not have it any other way

In Matisyahu song “silence” we are reminded, what appears to be silence on behalf of the creator is an opportunity to connect to Him. He does not speak to us from an audible voice because He wants us to seek Him. When we seek Him with our whole heart He will be found. If you want to hear the voice of the Creator then start looking at His handiwork. He hears His people in the same manner that he expects them to listen and hear Him. When G-D “Shema” your prayers they are followed by action.  His actions can be seen in His creation. When we ascend to higher levels of Emunah we find that G-D speaks loud and clear.  “Bring my broken heart to an invisible king with a hope one day you might answer me, so I pray don’t you abandon me. Your silence kills me; I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

©Reuven Atzil

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