In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. — Martin Luther King, Jr.
Three times in Job 13 you find the word “hold.” Job is at his wit’s end. This is the end of the first of three cycles of speeches among the four men. Job demands, “O that ye would altogether hold your peace! And it should be your wisdom” (Job 13:5). Later he pleads, “Hold your peace, let me alone, that I may speak, And let come on me what will” (Job 13:13). Is Job giving up?
“Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” (Job 13:15). This statement is as much defiant frustration as it is Job’s reliant focus. He expects to represent his case before God. How can the Infinite Being possibly unleash this much terror on such an insignificant creature (Job 13:21)? If Job were to not voice his defense he would “give up the ghost” (Job 13:19).
However, the silence which he can’t shake is the brassy silence of the heavens. The One he wishes to hear from has remained silent. Silence is not golden, especially when the One you most desperately wish to hear does not speak. Here is the question every one of us struggles with just like Job did: Does God’s silence mean He’s absent?
Charles Spurgeon said, “Many…owe the grandeur of their lives to their tremendous difficulties.” There is no greater life than our Savior as He hung on the cross. Did he hear any resounding answer after He cried, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me” (Matthew 27:46)? The heavens were essentially silent. This, Jesus bore to validate the statement he “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). He knows your pain. He too has been there.