I am impressed by Revelation 8:1-2. The silence before the heavenly sounds.
Now when the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. Revelation 8:1-2, TLV
Some of the most special moments I have experienced in God’s Presence are while leading praise and worship when Divine silences come. There are two different kinds of silences during worship leading. One might be obvious and comes across as an awkward, clunky silence. That is that quiet in between songs as the praise band shuffles their chord charts around to find the next song. This is a distracting pause. To that situation, my suggestion would be for the worship leader to work out their transitions from song to song.
But then there is this other silence. It does not occur all that frequently, but when it comes, it’s stunningly beautiful and amazing. It is the silence after leading a praise and worship song when God is responding to His people with His Presence. It is the quiet after the worship music when we can’t go on right away as the congregation is still “taking it all in”. It’s the moment after the a cappella congregational singing right at the end of a powerful worship song. The moment and recognition that Almighty God actually was willing to come down and sit in our midst and be enthroned on our praises of Him. It is the moment of “let’s just sit here in this silence”. It is selah silence.
The New American Standard Hebrew Lexicon defines the Hebrew word Selah (סֶֽלָה) as “to lift up, exalt.” Selah is translated as “intermission” in the Septuagint which is the earliest Greek translation of the Old Covenant. Selah, to pause and quietly think about it. There are several of these moments in the Bible. One is when God’s Spirit hovered over the face of the water in Genesis chapter 1. Another is when the priests could not stand to minister for the Shekinah glory of God in Chronicles, and then there is this half hour of silence in Revelation 8:1.
Now when the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. (Revelation 8:1-2, TLV)
Let us seek His Face and make room in our doing to just be in His Presence. May we expectantly wait for His Presence to come, for His silence to be in our lives.
Silence… because the heavenly trumpet blasts are about to sound.