Oftentimes I pray a strophe or a part of a strophe of Psalm 119 before I begin Bible engagement. This morning (July 17, 2020) I prayed verses 44-48. Verse 46a stood out, and in the ESV it reads:
46 I will also speak of your testimonies before kings and shall not be put to shame,
We cannot unduly limit the scope of this verse to an audience of “kings.” There is no doubt that the Psalmist would speak forth God’s Word under any circumstances. He selected an audience of “kings” because they are known to be more willing to shut the mouths of God’s witnesses. See Calvin, J., & Anderson, J. (2010). Commentary on the Book of Psalms (Vol. 4, pp. 434–435). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
Secular society promotes the LGBTQ agenda, endorses or at least tolerates abortion, and repels at the notion that salvation is only available though repentance from sin and faith in Jesus Christ. The Bible teaches that the LGBTQ agenda endorses a sinful lifestyle, abortion is murder, and Jesus is the only way to salvation. The fact biblical teachings run contrary to what secular society promotes renders it safe to say that the secular society is hostile to Christ-followers who speak forth biblical morality. It is more accurate to say that secular society would like to silence any form of speech that advocates biblical morality.
For Christ-followers, society’s hostility causes them to remain silent because of many kinds of fears. One commentator writes:
The great hindrance to our speaking upon holy topics in all companies is shame, but the psalmist will not be ashamed; there is nothing to be ashamed of, and yet many are as quiet as the dead for fear some creature like themselves should be offended. When God gives grace, cowardice soon vanishes.
PACKER, J. I. (1993). Introduction. In Psalms (p. 200). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books
However, at this critical time in history, a Christ-follower cannot play “quiet mouse” or “quiet as the dead” when it comes to speaking forth biblical morality. As Matthew Henry (1662-1714) wrote:
We must never be afraid to own our religion, though it should expose us to the wrath of kings, but speak of it as that which we will live and die by, like the three children before Nebuchadnezzar,Dan. 3:16; Acts 4:20.
See Henry, M. (1994). Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible: complete and unabridged in one volume (p. 918). Peabody: Hendrickson.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego displayed great faith and trust in God before Nebuchadnezzar as recorded in Daniel 3:16–18 (ESV):
16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”
Peter and John stood their ground against the Jewish authorities as recorded in Acts 4:18–20 (ESV):
18 So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, 20 for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.”
These are very challenging times for Christ-followers. Individually and corporately, Christ-followers must ask God for courage to boldly proclaim biblical truth and not stand silent against the noise and threats of the mob. We should look to Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Peter and John as examples of how we should respond in these turbulent times.
If you are reading this post and are not a Christian, unless God intervenes, your eternal destination is hell. But, your destiny can change. Today can be the day of your salvation. Please see my blog (https://stevebelsheim.com/2020/04/20/for-god-so-loves-you-2/) for a description of how you can be saved.
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