Thursday, January 21, 2016

Argument From Silence

Thursday, January 20, 2016

The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
    The skies display his craftsmanship.
Day after day they continue to speak;
    night after night they make him known.
They speak without a sound or word;
    their voice is never heard.
Yet their message has gone throughout the earth,
    and their words to all the world.    
Psalm 19:1-4(NLT)

I am reminded every time I look at a clear, starry night sky, or a breathtaking view of a valley and its’ mountainous vistas that God rarely (if ever) plays our silly games. 

You have perhaps seen, or heard about someone challenging God:  alright, you, God; if you’re there I dare you to strike me dead right now!  And then, when he or she didn’t become a piece of dry toast because the lightning bolt never happened, they claim victory – God isn’t there; it’s all a hoax.

The kindest thing you might be able to offer about that kind of foolishness is to say nothing at all.  At the very most you might remind the person that an argument from silence is weak; just because God didn’t strike you dead – as you asked – doesn’t mean He doesn’t exist; it simply means He doesn’t grant the prayers of foolish noodle heads!

And – at times – we’re ALL foolish noodle heads!  We all pray for stuff that isn’t good for us, or things we don’t need.  If God did answer some of my prayers I might wind up as toast simply because, like the rest of humanity, I’m selfish and self-destructive.

The Psalmist, King David, stated it clearly and forcefully that God’s creation is an argument from silence, declaring the magnificence of God’s sovereign hand.  Without a single word the creation speaks to our hearts, awesomely overwhelming our imaginations.

And with good reason!

Even the closest star past our sun, named Proxima Centauri, is 4¼ light years from earth.  I asked Google to calculate the number of miles in one light year (how far light will travel in a year’s time).  Siri said it’s 5,878,499,814,210.01 miles!  (Add an extra 1.6 million miles in a leap year!).  So, just travelling from where you’re sitting now to the closest star in the universe is about 25 trillion miles.

If you feel good about extending your road trip past Proxima Centauri to visit all the other stars in the universe, you’ll have to travel quite a way.  Scientists estimate the number of stars in God’s universe to be something like 3 x 1023.  That’s 3,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, or three-billion-trillion stars besides the Milky Way, which is our little neighborhood. 

And every bit of it declaring the majesty of Yahweh!  I’d call that a pretty strong argument from silence!

Now, that’s a pretty long way to travel this morning to set up my one-sentence I started out to say:

The next time you feel overwhelmed by all that the current political campaigns are declaring as our great problems, or hear a newscaster re-tell the story of another shooting on the news, or have a panic attack about global climate change, please be silent for a moment and remember who holds all of that, and all of the universe in the palm of His hand.

For You Today

Neither you, nor I hold the answers to all the perplexing problems we face in our little world – nor is it likely to come out of Washington this November.  But we do know from whence cometh our help – look up; your redemption draweth nigh![2]

You chew on that out on that Rocky Road today…and have a joy-filled and blessed day!

[1] Title image:  By Christopher Fitzgerald (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons
[2] Luke 21:28 & Psalm 121:1

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