In contrast to the foolish noise which often accompanies idolatry (Habakkuk 2:18-20) which varies per country, the LORD reminds the prophet of the worldwide silence called for in humble adoration.
“But the LORD is in his holy temple;
let all the earth be silent before him.”
True worship does not require a cacophony of sound. Much religious activity (e.g. the activity of the prophets of Baal on Mt Carmel – 1 Kings 18) works itself into an ecstatic frenzy. Perhaps the idol worshipers may gain the attention of the gods if they speak loud enough, dance fast enough, lose control of themselves in out-of-control behaviour! But this is NOT required of the worshipers of the one TRUE GOD.
The LORD, the prophet is reminded, is in His holy temple. His presence is represented by an ark, the ark of the covenant containing His word (the tablets of stone) a reminder of HIs provision (the jar of manna) and evidence of His discerning judgment (the rod of Aaron that budded). He has prescribed the details of how He is to be approached. He is holy and there is a “proper way” to COME to GOD and to KEEP FELLOWSHIP with HIM.
“…let all the earth be silent before him.” He has spoken! Are His people listening?
Where does this leave us today? Are we too busy talking when we should be listening? I’ve wondered in my studies of the Psalms, if God is not looking for more “Selah” moments. The term “selah” has various meanings. My study has led me to the conclusion that it is a musical rest, a “pause and reflect” about what has just been declared.
May the “hustle and bustle” that too often accompanies an ever “commercialized” Christmas be confronted with our silence as worshipers. “O Come, Let us Adore Him!” Why? “For HE alone is worthy, For HE alone is worthy, For HE alone is worthy, CHRIST the Lord!”