and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter. [2 corinthians 12:4]
there are a lot questions about 2 corinthians 12:1-6. for generations upon generations, the most noted bible scholars and the most common Christ followers have speculated about this vision. what exactly did paul see in “paradise”? what things did hear? why can’t he speak of these things?
at the end of the day – we just don’t know. what we do know are two things. first, we know that we don’t know much of anything about this vision. second, we know that God is author the silence.
often, silence from God comes when we are looking, longing for him to speak. there is a time period in biblical history called the intertestamental period. God last speaks thru an old testament prophet called malachi and then there is 400 years of silence before God speaks again through a new testament prophet called john the baptist. 400 years. … for 400 years, God’s people suffered, waited, were held captive, and waited, and looked for and longed for God to speak. many of you are looking and longing for God to answer a prayer. silence, in these moments is … well, difficult, emotional, hard, stretching, and more.
but, … have you ever been instructed by God to be silent about something you long to tell others. i can only imagine this command is more than difficult, emotional, hard, and stretching,
for fourteen years, paul was silent (vs 2). and now, he is speaking but basically silent about what happened. he is obedient, but i am sure this was well … difficult, emotional, hard, stretching, and more.
silence from God, whether he is asking for it or giving it is … beyond us.
i wanted to end this writing with some powerful application i have learned over the years about silence from God. anything i have learned comes from God’s word. so, i will leave you with these truths from God’s voice today that i pray speaks to your soul. today, if you are looking for God to break his silence, or if you know someone who longs for God to speak, take heart, he hears … and he is still speaking.
God gives us access by Jesus’ work to speak with him and by Jesus’ work he will hear and respond: let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. [hebrews 4:16]
God speaks thru his word: for the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. [hebrews 4:12]
your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. [ps 119:105]
God speaks to those who are his by Christ’s work: Jesus, “my sheep hear my voice, and i know them, and they follow me. i give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.” [john 10:27-28]
“whoever is of God hears the words of God. the reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.” [john 8:47]
God speaks thru his Spirit: Jesus, “when the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.” [john 16:13]
God speaks to our prayers when our desires and motives are aligned to his will:  and this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.  and if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him. [1 John 5:14–15]
you ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. [james 4:3]
seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. [matthew 6:33]
God speaks, but often we must wait: but as for me, i watch in hope for the Lord, i wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me. [micah 7:7]
wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. [ps 27:14]
i wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word io put my hope. [ps 130:5]
~ john ryan