I heard an excellent message from a pastor recently about not defending ourselves when we are betrayed or attacked. His point was that no matter what we say in defense we cannot undo the damage and we may actually make things worse. If we have done what is right and are slandered, lied about, or smeared unfairly, the best course of action is to continue to live our lives righteously and trust God for the results. If close friends ask what is happening, we may share with them . . . The point is: don’t retaliate, defend, or excuse ourselves.
This is not easy. To hold our peace when warred against is like watching mosquitoes take blood and not swatting them. Why would we do that?
Exodus 14:14—The LORD shall fight for you, while you hold your peace. (MEV)
The elated Israelites successfully escaped Egypt after God wreaked holy havoc upon their oppressive masters. That heart-pumping feeling of freedom was quickly replaced with terror when they looked back and saw an Egyptian army pursing them. The dust clouds formed by racing chariots sent panic through their ranks and they cried out to God. They had no means to defend themselves. Their children, flocks and possessions further exposed them as easy pickings for a furious enemy. But their screaming was not in faith but fear and Moses became the target of their angst. “Is it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? . . . It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness” (14:11,12b MEV).
Moses must have wondered how these countrymen, who had that very week witnessed plagues from God unleashed to free them, could so quickly despair. Calmly he challenged them, “Fear not! Stand firm! And see the salvation of the LORD, which He will show you today . . . hold your peace” (14:13,14b MEV).
Are you embarrassed by some unexpected betrayal? “Beloved, do not avenge yourselves . . . ‘Vengeance is Mine. I will repay,’ says the Lord” (Romans 12:19 MEV). Are you assailed by a merciless adversary? Do the unthinkable and love your enemy. “Bless those who persecute you; bless, and do not curse” (Rom. 12:14 MEV). Hold your peace!
Think back on all the times when God bailed you out of trouble or revealed His strong arm at just the right time. Don’t rely on logic or you will let the obvious ruin the miraculous. Don’t scream at Moses. His eyes are on God-which is exactly where your eyes should be.
Cheer up! Don’t dread the chariot drivers. They cannot run you over. The waves you pass through will be the waves of their undoing. The Lord will fight for you. Hold your peace!
When we stay our feeble efforts,
And from struggling cease,
Brings us God’s own peace.—Oswald Chambers in If You Will Be Perfect
©2018 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)