The Vanity of a Moment of Silence Described. (Psalm 9)

Psalm 9:9 The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.

This week we have once again seen the depravity of the human heart on full display with the bombing in Manchester, England. The result of the bomb is all too familiar–dead and wounded people, a nation in shock, grieving parents and friends, the honoring of first responders, and the on-going search for the planners and their associates. Do you see anything missing in that list?

The Daily Mail filled in the blank with their report of the Queen’s Garden Party. At the party, she called on all those assembled to observe a moment of silence in remembrance of, “those killed and injured in the Manchester terror attack.” Why a moment of silence? I understand the attraction which this symbol has. We do it to remember the fallen war hero or anyone who has given their life for a great national cause. It is meant to be pensive and to invoke respect for such sacrifice. However, in our current age, it is supplanting prayer.

Why couldn’t the Queen ask for prayer instead of a moment of silence? She is the head of the Church of England. She could have led in that prayer. A prayer that could have been prepared for her which addressed the Sovereign God on behalf of the wounded, dead and their families. A prayer which could have asked for heaven’s assistance in bringing the guilty to justice. A simple request directed to the Throne of Grace. Of course, it’s not just her, this response is common among world leaders today after every tragedy.

But no. We can’t do that lest we offend someone. So, the “moment of silence” is slowly replacing prayer as the accepted public act of petition. Dewey and the other signers of the Humanist Manifesto would be pleased. All vestiges of Biblical Spirituality are being stripped from public discourse and being replaced with absolutely nothing. A “moment of silence” is a moment of nothing. A prayer for nothing. Eyes are not directed to the Ebenezer of the soul but to the soul of man. Heaven is not enjoined but rather the group mind is engaged in–nothing.

It’s time we prayed that the Lord would move against these enemies of human life. Let me suggest a few passages we have studied on Daily Dose Radio since March. Let’s start with Psalm 3 and 4. Both Psalms address the work of the enemy and the psalmist’s need for salvation. Then let’s move onto Psalm 5:4-10, Psalm 6:10, and Psalm 7:11 and especially verse 15.

Finally, we can conclude with the verse I began this piece with–Psalm 9:9. Surely no one will be offended if we pray for the LORD to be a refuge for those oppressed. We know the oppressed in this case–the survivors of the blast and those who are grieving. It’s time we employ the help of heaven and stop the practice of vanity.

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