Ever notice how the people that make it a point to put up signs in their yards like “Hate doesn’t live here” or those who openly say that there needs to be more love and understanding in the world, are the first to express anger, judgment, and mean-spiritedness when someone disagrees with their viewpoints? We have seen censorship from the government, big business, and even the news media. Hard to imagine that those who are supposed to bring truth in the news censor truth. The censorship and hate boils down to those who have a worldly view are offended by those who have a Godly worldview. Today’s censorship and animus is aimed toward Jews and Christians who stand for what is right and good.
It’s very easy to get wrapped around the axel of this ongoing attack on our values and faith. I know of people who have had to quit watching the news because it makes them anxious. People of faith are disconnecting from society. Churches are losing congregants, especially among young people. But are we to disengage? Christ said in Matthew 24:9 that “you shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.” He also said in Mark 16:15, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” And he advised in Luke 12:12 not to worry about what you will say when you are brought before the authorities “For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.” Like God told Moses in Exodus 4:12 that when he went before Pharaoh, “I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.”
If the Lord is teaching us what to say to these hostile people, it stands to reason that we would respond with wisdom because we are ambassadors of the living God. Christ said in Matthew 5:38-39, “You have heard that it has been said, ‘an eye for an eye, and a tooth for tooth,’ but I say unto you, that you resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” A study of Jewish law reveals that a slap on the cheek is an offense of insult that requires remuneration. By turning the other cheek, it means that you are not going to react with revenge—or return evil for evil—but to wait on the Lord for direction and vindication. Herein, the Holy Spirit directs us. We are not to just shrink back and silently tolerate evil, but rather respond to it with guidance from the Holy Spirit. As a follower of Christ, you are set apart unto him.
In Daniel 3, King Nebuchadnezzar required everyone to worship the golden image or be thrown into a furnace. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused. They were careful, and quite frankly Holy Spirit guided, in their answer: “If it 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. But if not, be it known unto you, O king, that we will not serve your gods nor worship the golden image which you have set up.” They did not respond in anger. They obeyed God rather than men. They had faith. They were confident in God’s decision irrespective of the outcome. In the end, the King had a change of heart and blessed God. This is an example to each of us. Be encouraged to speak boldly as you ought to speak, and be at peace that God’s will shall be accomplished.