Exodus 24:12 (NIV)
12 The Lord said to Moses, "Come up to me on the mountain and stay here, and I will give you the tablets of stone, with the law and commands I have written for their instruction."
Exodus 24:15-16 (NIV)
15 When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud covered it,
16 and the glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai. For six days the cloud covered the mountain, and on the seventh day the Lord called to Moses from within the cloud.
Since God first appeared to Moses in a burning bush, he and God had been on speaking terms. When Moses needed Him, God had been accessible. And when God had spoken, Moses had responded.
So on this day, after reading the Book of the Covenant to the people, Moses and 73 others had gone up the mountain and had seen God, and even had a meal there in His presence. Then God invited Moses all the way up the mountain because He was going to give Moses the tablets of stone with the laws that He had written on them. Moses made the necessary arrangements to make sure the people were cared for and on up the mountain he went.
When he arrived at the top of the mountain, the cloud covered the top there where he was (the cloud remember was the presence of God during the day...'pillar of cloud by day') and the glory of the Lord settled on the mountain.
And Moses waited. One day...God was still there - but nothing. Two days...cloud still covered the mountain - but no voice could be heard. Three days...God's presence still very much evident - but God was not speaking.
I wonder what was going through Moses' mind? This hadn't happened before. God had always spoken...been clear with His instructions. But now, although Moses knew that God was there and had a keen awareness of His presence, he couldn't hear God's voice. This went on for six days, and on the seventh day, God finally broke His silence.
So often we come to God expecting to hear from Him, expecting His direction, His instruction, or His solutions for the circumstances and the situations in our lives. And although God is always with us and sometimes we can even feel or sense His presence, He does not always speak when we think He should. It's a little bit like calling on the phone and hearing the receptionist answer and say 'God's office...can you hold please?' And before you have a chance to respond, suddenly you're listening to 'Hillsongs' worship music playing in the background and you are waiting. You know God is there, or the receptionist would have told you He wasn't in right now. But of course He's always 'in' so you know He's there. And because He is God and you really need to speak to Him, you wait. And sometimes, like Moses, you wait, and you wait, and you wait some more. And you know it will be worth the wait, but still you wonder, 'Why do I have to wait so long?'
Maybe God just wants to make sure He has your undivided attention. Maybe He wants to give you enough time to think through your situation a little more so your mind will be clear when He speaks. Maybe He just needs you to be still in His presence for while because He knows that in the stillness, your mind will quiet and your heart will settle and then suddenly your crisis or issue won't seem so huge.
Here is what you need to do when it seems like you're on hold with God. Enjoy the quiet. Take advantage of the moment and worship...sing along with that 'Hillsongs' track. Focus your attention on God and get it off of your problem or circumstance. Then when God does speak you will be ready to hear and to learn whatever He needs you to learn from your situation.
Isaiah 40:31 (MSG)
31 But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, They run and don't get tired, they walk and don't lag behind.