Acts 16:35 And when it was day, the magistrates sent the serjeants, saying, Let those men go. 36 And the keeper of the prison told this saying to Paul, The magistrates have sent to let you go: now therefore depart, and go in peace. 37 But Paul said unto them, They have beaten us openly uncondemned, being Romans, and have cast us into prison; and now do they thrust us out privily? nay verily; but let them come themselves and fetch us out.
The Apostle Paul and Silas, after receiving the Macedonian call to preach the Gospel in Europe (Acts 16:6-12) were beaten and thrown into prison. God miraculously delivered them with a great earthquake and when the magistrates found out what happened said to let them go. They wanted them to depart quietly, to go in peace, and not make a big scene. They were saying, “Lets not draw any more attention to this,” and shhhhhhh. I love what Paul did. He knew the law and realized they had violated their rights as Roman citizens said, “You beat us unjustly, you threw us in prison, you didn’t give us a legal trial, and now you want us to sneak out of here secretly. I don’t think so. Go tell them to fetch us out of here.” Ha!
Maybe that is what the devil wants us to do before we are fetched out of here. Just be quiet; don’t make any noise; don’t stand for anything and don’t speak out against anything. Shhhhhhhhh. Just be a quiet little Christian, live secretly, and keep your beliefs private. I don’t think so mr. devil, I’m praying for more boldness to preach the Gospel and for God to grant signs and wonders to be done by the Name of Jesus (Acts 4:29; Ephesians 6:19, 20). I will not go quietly.
Preachers who adhere to the Word of God and see it as the final authority to their faith and practice should also not be silent about the issues of their day. Not to be involved or to be silent in political process is not a Biblical option. We are citizens of two worlds and have responsibilities in each of them. Good Christians should be good citizens and have a responsibility to stay engaged with what is happening in their nation. They should not be silent about the gross violations of God’s moral law or their Constitutional rights. Silence when we should speak up is not something God has always looked kindly upon. Do you remember the story where God told Moses to take the rod and speak to the rock before the people but instead rebelled and smote the rock twice in Numbers 20:6 -13? Moses was punished because HE DID SOMETHING God did not tell him to do and was not allowed to enter the Promised Land. The interesting thing is that Aaron too was punished and not allowed to enter the Promised Land but his rebellion was HE DIDN’T DO SOMETHING, he kept his mouth shut, didn’t let his voice be heard, and was held accountable for his silence.
I love the following four great quotes by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on silence.
1. “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
2. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
3. “The day we see the truth and cease to speak is the day we begin to die”
4. “There comes a time when silence is betrayal.”