Hold Your Peace (Received with Joy)

The Israelites had seen the Lord spare them as hail, darkness, and death consumed the Egyptians. The Israelites had seen the Lord convince Pharaoh to let them go and the Egyptians to give them their valuables.

The Israelites said to Moses, “ Is not this what we said to you in Egypt: ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’?”

When did they say that? Was it when things were hard? Was it when Pharaoh increased their daily work? There is certainly no record of them saying that as they walked free out of Egypt. But then they forgot the Lord and His goodness and power. They had JUST seen it. They had JUST experienced it firsthand.

If we don’t walk in the daily knowledge of who He is, we will forget. We’re humans. We need to acknowledge Him in all our ways, all of them, the good and the bad, and let Him lead us either way.

Moses tells the people that the Lord will fight for them. He doesn’t require anything of them. They only need to be still, be quiet. They don’t need to cry out. They just need to stand and see His deliverance, just keep their eyes on Him.

Can you stand and be quiet? Can you be at rest?

The believer’s rest, from Hebrews 4, is about not trying to work for our salvation (our freedom from sin, our healing, deliverance, protection, provision, forgiveness). Think of what a dumb plan some of the Israelites want to carry out. They want to save themselves by going back to Egypt. They want to go back to the place God delivered them from.

That’s human nature, go with what you know. We’d rather do that than risk trusting. The only reason to not want to risk trusting is if you think you’re going to be let down. If you trusted it would all be great, you wouldn’t have a problem with it.

When we hold onto what we know, we’re showing God we don’t trust His goodness, love, and power. We’re not trusting that He’s for us and not against us. We’re not believing that we’re His and He’s our good Father.

Are you willing to move away from what you know, what’s comfortable? Are you willing to walk away from anything or everything in your life if God led you away from it?

Could you trust Him with abandon?

If it’s a scary thought and not a happy one, where does that come from? What are you or aren’t you believing about God?

There are some called to trust God like Moses and stretch out their hands to show God’s powerful deliverance. There are some called to trust God just to move forward with Him into the unknown and not look back at the past and what’s left behind. Some are called to trust God to protect them from the certain death that is closing in.

It may seem certain death is closing in, but God sees the end from the beginning. He sees the whole picture. To Him, those Egyptians, though chasing after the Israelites, are no threat at all to them.

Can you see the troubles, the challenges, the past, the unknown, whatever it is in your life, as no threat at all? Can you smile and hold your peace and be still in your heart and mind and watch Him work and display His glory in your life?

Be still and see His salvation.

When I reread this lesson, I thought of the phrase, “Hold your peace.”

It had two meanings to me: to keep the peace I have in Christ, and to hold my tongue and not speak my mind. They go together.

To hold our peace we have to hold our peace. Christ offers us peace, offers to guard our hearts and minds when we give things over to Him with thanksgiving, that is, thanking Him that He will take care of it. We give our burdens to Him, then we don’t have them anymore.

Where does holding our peace, keeping our mouths closed come in?

When we give our requests to God, tell Him the things we need help with, ask Him to take care of this or that, we need to leave it at that. We don’t lay out the plan for how and when it should be done. We don’t micromanage God’s steps to carry it out. We leave it to Him.

We don’t need to point out anything to Him. He knows. He can see more of the ins and outs of what is and what needs to be more than you can.

And when He decides on an uncomfortable solution, we don’t fight it. We say, “Yes, Lord.” Then we leave Him to it. We don’t need to say anything more because He knows. “You know, Lord.”

Here are two more things you can say, “Thank you, Lord. I praise you, Lord.”

“Yes, Lord. You know, Lord. Thank you, Lord. I praise you, Lord.” And hold your peace.