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April 28, 2023

Silence Is Golden

God gives strong support to those who incline their heart to be a warrior for King Jesus.

I couldn’t get the song out of my head. “Silence is golden, golden, but my eyes still see.” To put it in modern vernacular, I was trippin! My memory has had better days, so I decided to look up the lyrics for the rest of the song. The song was first released by The Four Seasons in 1964 (and I am a child of the sixties). It’s about a guy in love with a girl who is being played (modern vernacular) by another guy and he was afraid to say anything. That’s when I noticed these lines in the song: “Silence is golden, golden, but my eyes still see. Talkin’ is cheap, people follow like sheep, Even though there is nowhere to go.” The words rhyme, but they aren’t really a coherent thought, or so I thought.

It was a seminal moment for me. No one has ever accused me of being a deep thinker, but it did get me thinking about this time we live in. If COVID taught Christians anything, it was the contempt that the world has for us. Look at the measures employed against so many churches by government agencies. Churches were deemed “nonessential,” thus implying that we were to refrain from assembling together until further notice. Many churches became embroiled in legal battles with local governments for defying mask mandates or other imposed restrictions. Some are still fighting legal battles for violating mandates that “the science” has since shown were ineffective.

We weren’t very far into COVID when, to quote the song, “my eyes still see.” Churches were ordered shuttered, but casinos and big box stores could stay open. We could not gather together, but if you wanted to form a mob, riot, burn some buildings, and attack police in a “mostly peaceful” demonstration, that was considered “healthy” (not so much for the people injured or killed or the businesses destroyed). Conspiracy theories abounded, many of which have, in the intervening years, proven to be true. Let me enlighten you on a “conspiracy theory” of mine.

Christians need to understand that the adversary of our soul has been at war with us since Day One. From the Day of Pentecost until this very day, he has sought to silence the message of hope and deliverance that only we can bring. In Acts 4, the members of the Sanhedrin threatened Peter and John, telling them “not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus” (4:18). They went back to their friends and prayed and asked God to enable them to continue to speak His word with boldness (v. 29). God answered. “And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:31, ESV). Nothing has changed in the past 2,000 years. Jesus warned His disciples that this was coming. “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you” (John 15:18).

It’s not that everyone around us is demon-possessed or even inclined in that direction. They are blinded. “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Corinthians 4:3-4). The god of this world does not want the light of the Gospel to be shining in the midst of this present darkness, which is why he seeks to silence our witness. He does that because he knows that this is the greatest weapon we have. Like the words in the song above, “people follow like sheep.” We are told to “take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17).

Peter tells us: “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world” (1 Peter 5:8-9). God would not tell us to “resist” (a popular word among progressives these days) if He hadn’t given us the weapons to do so. “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward Him” (2 Chronicles 16:9). God gives strong support to those who incline their heart to be a warrior for King Jesus. Let’s pray first, and then go preach! We will not be silenced!

What say ye, Man of Valor?

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