Daily Thought for: 6th May
GIVE NOT THAT WHICH IS HOLY UNTO THE DOGS, NEITHER CAST YE YOUR PEARLS BEFORE SWINE
Matthew 7. 6
The Preacher said, ‘There is...a time to keep silence, and a time to speak’, Eccles. 3. 7, and this is wise advice. It is true that the New Testament encourages a universal witness in the gospel, Matt. 28. 19-20. However, in the subject verse, the Lord teaches us that there are times when we should desist. Times when those to whom we speak are abusive, contemptuous and disrespectful, and treating the truth as a vile thing. There is no profit in continuing a conversation with such.
An Example from the Lord:
The Lord always responded to people according to their attitude. To the receptive, He spoke gladly, but there were times when He was silent. He was silent as He stood before the chief priests, the elders, and all the council, Matt. 26. 62-63. He was also silent as He stood before Herod, Luke 23. 9, and, finally, He stood silent before Pilate as the mob directed its frenzied attack upon Him, Matt. 27. 12-14. Pilate said to Jesus Answerest thou nothing? behold how many things they witness against thee. But Jesus yet answered nothing; so that Pilate marvelled’, Mark 15. 4-5. Why this stoical silence that has His accusers and the Roman authorities baffled? Surely, it was this - that the Lord knew their innermost hearts, and He would not entertain any dialogue with those who were hostile and abusive. He chose to remain silent.
An example from the Apostle Paul:
In Acts 13. 44-46 the apostle had been preaching the gospel to his Jewish brethren, but, we read, ‘they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming’, Acts 13. 45. We see the dog and swine-like features coming out here. Faced with this, Paul said, ‘It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you, but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles’, Acts 13. 46. In their rejection of the Word of God, there was nothing more to say. May the Lord grant us that spiritual discernment to know when to speak a word in season, or to refrain.