“The Silence Of The Scripture”

Categories: Authority, Bible, Daily Living, Silence

The Silence Of The Scripture

Jarrod Jacobs

                   Many today think that God’s silence within the Scripture is in fact, permission to act. In contrast, there are others today who say that if God is silent on a subject, this means we cannot do it! Which viewpoint is the Scriptural viewpoint? Are they both wrong? What does the Scripture say? Let us see what the truth is concerning the silence of the Scripture.

                   When Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, it was not long until they reached the Red Sea. Knowing that the Red Sea prohibited their travel, and the Egyptians were quickly catching up, what were they to do? Exodus 14:10-14 records the people’s frustration and Moses’ response. He said, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today…. The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”

                   Seeing that God had not spoken yet about what they were to do upon arriving at the Red Sea, Moses commanded the people to “stand firm.” They were not to act until God spoke to them! We know that God parted the water, and they crossed on dry ground (v. 15-16), but until God spoke to Moses, they “stood firm” and did not move!

                   Consider Numbers 9:2-11. After God had given the command to keep the Passover, two came and said they had missed it because they were defiled. Therefore, they asked Moses what to do. What did Moses say? Take note of his answer: “Wait, that I may hear what the LORD will command concerning you” (Num. 9:8). Moses did nothing until God spoke, and required those men do nothing until God spoke! Once he inquired of the Lord, then the matter was resolved. Let us learn and learn well that when God is silent, we cannot act!

                   In the New Testament, when the Jews disputed over whether or not uncircumcised Gentiles could be saved, it was God’s silence that settled matters (Acts 15:7-15, 24). When we read Acts 15, Peter recalled his experience with the Gentiles (Acts 10-11), and the fact that God had said nothing about the Gentiles being physically circumcised was evidence to them that it was not necessary anymore.

                   This is not the only time that men in the Bible reasoned based upon God’s silence. For example, in Hebrews 7:12-14 we learn that without a change of the law, Christ could not be a priest. Why? It is because God, through Moses, had allowed the Levites to serve as priests, and had been silent about Judah’s descendants serving as priests (Num. 1:50-54, 3:12, 45, 18:1-7)! God had not given a list of all the tribes not allowed to serve as priests. Rather, by only allowing the Levites to serve, it was understood that all other tribes were forbidden in the Old Covenant. Therefore, there has come a change of the law, and we today are subject to the New Testament, the New Covenant, and not the Old.

                   In Old Testament days, it was stated, “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law” (Deut. 29:29). God has revealed all necessary to live a pleasing, acceptable, and enjoyable life (II Pet. 1:3; II Tim. 3:16-17). Why would we want to act when God has been silent? The truth is that most people have not yet come to terms with what God has said! Let us learn and learn well that God’s silence never permits, it only prohibits!


  1. thanks for a fine article.

    by Philip D Sanders on March 01, 2017 at 3:34pm.