But the people remained silent and said nothing in reply, because the king had commanded, “Do not answer him.” 2 Kings 18:36
While Hezekiah was king of Israel, the king of Assyria, Sennacherib had decided to attack Israel. Sennacherib sent his commander of the army to Hezekiah to speak to him and all the people of Israel. He told them that they had the power to destroy them and threatened all the people.
The Israelites could have easily began a retaliation of words, attempting to prove God was stronger, or that God had delivered Israel before and would do it again. They could have strived to argue how the gods of Assyria were false gods, not real. However, Hezekiah had told all the people to remain silent and not respond at all to his threats, and so they did remain silent.
Whenever a person begins to threaten another person, the first thing the victim wants to do is respond. If the threat is in words, people will usually respond very quickly in words. Their defenses go up, refusing to allow the attacker to win the battle.
This is seen all the time when there are threats on a person’s character. Usually the response is one of attacks back upon the attacker’s character.
These types of situations are seen both in the world and inside the church. People attack others, and the victim rises up and takes a stand with words arguing against the attacker.
Hezekiah knew God and His power. He knew that his words would be meaningless and a waste of time. It would not help to argue with the Assyrian commander. He kept quiet and went to God with the situation.
You may be going through some of these attacks now, if not there will come a day when it will happen. During the attack the best thing to do is keep silent and bring it before God. When the people had Jesus on trial to be killed, they made all kinds of accusations against Him. Jesus remained silent and did not say very much. He trusted the situation in God’s hands.
Just because someone else cuts you down, does not mean you need to cut them down also. Allow God to deal with that person. His ways will be much better than yours.
Are you fighting back?
Or are you trusting God to guide you and fight your battles for you?
I pray today that God will guide you in when to keep silent; that God will strengthen you to keep silent; that you will not fight a useless battle with words; and that your words will point people to Jesus rather than cutting them down.