God’s Word for You
Zechariah 2:13 Silence!
by Pastor Timothy Smith on Tuesday, June 28, 2022
13 All flesh, be silent before the LORD!
For he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.”
Now comes a prophecy of the end. There are many messages like this in the prophets. “Disaster!” the Lord shouted to Ezekiel, “An unheard-of disaster is coming. The end has come! The end has come! It has roused itself against you!” (Ezekiel 7:5-6). “Be silent before the Sovereign Lord, for the day of the Lord is near” (Zephaniah 1:7). And again: “The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him” (Habakkuk 2:20).
Zechariah’s word for “Be silent!” is the same word we use: Hush! It’s also used by Amos a few times (Amos 6:10, 8:3). And God commanded Job to be silent so that he could listen and pay close attention to what he was saying (Job 33:31,33). This is a message to all flesh, which is all mankind, and it has at least three applications:
First, to atheists and all who reject Christ outright: Be silent! The Last day will end all of their resistance, and they will understand at last, when it is too late, that they were the only human beings, living or dead, who cared nothing at all for their own souls or the souls of their loved ones. During his Perean ministry across the Jordan, Jesus taught the account of the Rich Man and Poor Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31). People from the four spiritual groups are depicted in that account, which is to say, believers and unbelievers in this life, and the saved and damned in eternity. Of those four groups, we know that believers in this life and in eternity care about the souls of their loved ones. Job prays about the sins of his children (Job 1:5), and there are many other examples of this, perhaps including the whole book of Proverbs and Solomon’s concern for his son (Proverbs 1:8, 31:2). In heaven, the spirits under the altar pray for Judgment Day to come (Revelation 6:9) when the condemned will be condemned and the faithful will be brought forever to Paradise. And then there is the formerly rich man suffering in hell, who is concerned about the condition of his brothers. He still doesn’t understand about the Means of Grace, since he asks Abraham to circumvent the working of the gospel and the word of God, but he doesn’t want his loved ones to suffer. Therefore, it is only the unbelievers who still live who truly don’t care about their own souls of the souls of their children and loved ones. When Judgment Day comes it will be too late; there will be no time to repent. And God’s command is also about all of their bilious spew of wicked opinions, rebellion against God, and hatred of God: Be silent! All of that wickedness will be ended in that moment and with those words.
Second, this is a call to all heretics who have tried to hide under the umbrella of the name “Christian” but who reject some or all of Christian doctrine in favor of what their own itching ears want to hear (2 Timothy 4:3). “Heresy” comes from the Greek word (hairesis, αἵρεσις) that means a religious division caused by picking or choosing one doctrine and ignoring others. There are two varieties of heretics. First, there are those who lurk in corners, looking for ways and means to spit out their venom. Today they especially appear with their own videos denying the truth of the Scriptures (this is why true Christian ministers need to be willing to post their own classes and sermons online, so that our people—who are always searching—can find something truly good). Then there are those who invade where the gospel has already been planted and bring about enormous changes in the church, changes that surprise members. These are always social changes wreathed in bouquets of passages that don’t really support what they’re doing. All of this wickedness will also end with God’s command of “Silence!” And this will cause shock and horror among millions of Christians who have been misled.
Third, God’s call of “Silence” will even apply to his own good people, the Holy Christian Church. There is “a time to be silent and a time to speak” (Ecclesiastes 3:7), and the time to speak, that is, to speak the gospel and to preach repentance and the forgiveness of sins, will end when the Lord appears again, when the books are opened and the court is seated (Daniel 7:10; Revelation 20:12). At that time, the earthly work of the church will come to an end. God will then “give relief to you who are afflicted” (2 Thessalonians 1:7), “and,” the Lord says, “you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:29; Jeremiah 6:16). This is not to say that there will be no heavenly work, for we will praise him and serve him with whatever labor he requires of us in heaven: “They are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in this temple” (Revelation 7:15). But the labor of preaching law and gospel will be at an end.
We will stand before God then in his judgment. For all with Christ in our hearts, it will be a joyful time, a time to be surprised by the good things God has to say about us (Matthew 25:36-40). He will gather us into heaven, the only paradise, because we have put our faith in Jesus, the only way to heaven (John 14:6; Matthew 11:27).
Pastor Timothy Smith