A Time to Keep Silence, and a Time to Speak
(Ecclesiastes 3:7b) - PART 1
He Opened Not His Mouth (Isaiah 53:7)
Isaiah 53:7, He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
When Jesus stood before Pilate in judgment, He said in Matthew 26:53, “Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?” Yet the Bible says “He opened not his mouth”. He would be as silent as a sheep before its shearers. When He was brought before Pilate, Jesus just stood there and said nothing (Matthew 26:62-63; 27:12-14; I Peter 2:23). During much of His affliction and oppression He was completely silent. At other times He spoke only a few words. That’s because He was not on trial, Pilate was on trial. Jesus knew His destiny but most importantly, He knew His Father intimately. When you know the LORD, you can face anything with confidence and be free to be quiet. What peace He brings in the most precarious predicaments!
Sometimes it is wise to keep silent. To say, “I don’t have the answer right now but I will pray, ponder over it, and get back with you.” Your need to rescue someone, or impress them, can often come back to bite you. Proverbs 12:23, A prudent man concealeth knowledge: but the heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness. There is virtue and wisdom in being discreet. When a wise man speaks, he conceals that which he cannot discreetly reveal. When a foolish man speaks, he holds back nothing but speaks all that he knows, which is mostly foolishness. The foolish blab about everything they know. Loose lips reveal things which ought to be concealed. The news media had a problem with this during WWII. During World War II, the news media was kept from a lot of information by the government because they could not be trusted to keep their mouths shut on sensitive issues. Loose lips characterize the news/social media of our day.
When people are anxious for answers, they’ll pressure you into speaking before you have all the facts or have taken time to pray and consider the situation. If you ask Him, God will tell you what to say and when to say it. His promise is found in Isaiah 51:16, And I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand…Ego says, “Don’t just stand there, say something.” Wisdom says, “Don’t just say something, stand there”. Ask God for His insight. One insight from Him can settle things in a hurry and rescue you from a lengthy headache. Someone else’s need to know shouldn’t determine your need to speak.
PRAYER: Father in Heaven, I know my tongue is very swift and slippery, and often gets ahead of my mind and heart. I’m sorry for those times I have spoken in anger or gossip. Help me to be slow to speak. May my words always be with grace and seasoned with salt, and careful as I answer everyone. In Jesus name, Amen.
Thank you for reading this devotion. This is PART ONE of this series. Please visit the website tomorrow for PART TWO.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.