In preparation for tomorrow’s talk on the Beautitudes which I will be giving to a group of policemen I read Sinclair Ferguson’s book on the Sermon on the Mount and here are some quotes which touched me:
“We are poor men and women in ourselves, with no righteousness of our own to plead before God. We are bankrupt, debtors in his court. Our plea must be for mercy.”
“There is much teaching on how to be filled with the Spirit, but where can we learn what it means to be spiritually emptied – emptied of self-confidence, self-importance, and self-righteousness?”
And here’s the quote which convicted me most:
“In fact, there is no sadder commentary on our lack of this spiritual poverty than the readiness so many of us have to let others know what we think. But the man who is poor in spirit is the man who has been silenced by God, and seeks only to speak what he has learned in humility from him.”
That is a very interesting thought – the blessing of being silenced by God. This blessing comes only through much pain; but that’s the way God’s greatest blessings come. It means being broken, being humbled, maybe even being despised and forsaken, so that you can be alone with God and learn to depend completely and solely on him. But it’s only through being silenced that we can learn to truly speak according to his will. Somewhere Shakespeare speaks of words that are nothing more than sound and fury, signifying nothing. Maybe because they are words that have not been forged in the deep silences of the soul that has been alone with God.