The Sound Of Silence
There was an advertisement some years ago on 📺 television that was very effective. It simply said,
“WHEN E. F. HUTTON SPEAKS, PEOPLE LISTEN!”
All the more gripping was a young broker, standing in a large dining hall, talking to someone and he says to him,
“E.F. HUTTON SAYS…..”
And at that moment everyone in that large crowded hall ✋stopped what they are doing and leaned their heads toward the young broker. The hall came to total hushed silence to hear 👂what E.F. Hutton said. That sound of silence spoke louder than a thousand voices.
It has always struck me how certain sounds and voices can bring people to complete silence and rapt attention. It is a fact that a 3 year old’s voice can be heard 👂 in a room of 200 yacking adults.
“Out of the MOUTHS of BABES and SUCKLINGS hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest STILL the enemy and the avenger.”
The pastor tells of the time that He and his wife went grocery shopping at Walmart. Per custom, He would sit and people watch, while his wife did the work. He was sitting with other guys, small talking and gawking.
Just then a mother walked by holding the hand of her 4 year old daughter. As they came by, the little girl 👧 was singing:
Jesus loves me this I know,
For the Bible tells me so,
Little ones to Him belong,
They are weak but He is strong.
Yes Jesus loves me,
Yes Jesus loves me,
Yes Jesus loves me,
The Bible tells me so.
The pastor related that all traffic came to a stop. All voices went silent. All that could be heard was the sweet voice of the little girl singing of Jesus’ love for her. It was spell binding, and after she was gone, no one spoke for a long period of time. Total silence! The SOUND OF SILENCE that was eerily audible.
SILENCE THERE AND NOTHING MORE
1. Peat and Repeat were in the ⛵ boat. Peat fell in. Who was left? Repeat! Peat and Repeat…
So it goes! Of course it is a trick story and a trick question, all designed to trick the questioned one into playing along. Innocent and clever fun! Knock knock, who’s there?
Jesus was no stranger to His adversaries trying to trick Him into making false statements. Anything and anyway to put Him in disrepute if not in self-incrimination. It became a game of wits, and they were always outsmarted by Jesus and always lost.
The Sadducees were a Jewish sect in Jesus earthly walk who DID NOT BELIEVE IN THE RESURRECTION. As today, there were several sects then, Gentile and Jewish.
One day the Sadducees came to Jesus with a question, a trick question. (Luke 20) They asked Him about a married man who died, and had no children with his wife.
And then one of his brothers married his widow. He too died, leaving no children with her. All toll, there were 7 brothers who each married her and had no children with her and died.
She was widowed 7 times, and everyone of her brother-husbands dropped dead.
Quite a bit more elaborate than Peat and Repeat were in the boat. Sounds more like a case for the modern crime TV 📺 show called FORENSIC FILES.
Then they set the trap and asked Him the sneaky question in Like 20:33,
“In the Resurrection, whose wife of them shall she be, seeing 7 of them had her to wife?”
All along they all were thinking, “GOTCHA.” You see they were trying to disprove the resurrection by showing that it would be an awkward if not impossible state of being. It would never work, too many entangled situations based on the former life with all of its complications. TOO MUCH HAS HAPPENED!
(By the way, these Sadducees were not nice people. They were part of the plot to kill Lazarus and disprove thereby that He was raised from the dead by Jesus. Anything, even murder, to come against resurrection. These were not your friendly Sunday School types. More like mafia theologians.)
Then Jesus renders the trap useless. TRUTH HAS A WAY OF DOING THAT. He says to them in Like 20:35-36,
“Those that are accounted worthy to obtain that world (Heaven), and the resurrection from the dead, NEITHER MARRY NOR ARE THEY GIVEN IN MARRIAGE.”
Trap rendered useless. Completely irrelevant. Not comparing oranges with oranges. Whole different life! No marriage there! No marriage licenses. No premarital counselling. No marriage renewal seminars. Marriage in the resurrection is forever obsolete. Next question!
Then Jesus goes on:
“Neither can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels, and they are children of God, being the children of the ressurection.”
Angels don’t get married. Who ever heard of Mr. and Mrs. Gabriel? Or Mr. and Mrs. Michael! In Heaven, the redeemed will be more angelic than human. The days of Mr. and Mrs. are totally over.
WE WILL NO LONGER BE SOMEBODY’S WIFE OR HUSBAND. WE WILL ONLY BE FOREVER KNOWN AS THE CHILDREN OF GOD. NOT EVEN ADULTS, BUT CHILDREN OF THE HEAVENLY FATHER. CHILDREN DON’T GET MARRIED EITHER.
Then Jesus, for good measure, zeros in on their Jewish roots. He reminds them that when Moses met God at the burning bush, He identified Himself to Moses as the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.
And because God is the God of the LIVING and not the God of the dead, that means Abrahan, Isaac, and Jacob are ALIVE, and shall also be in the Resurrection.
Remember Ecclesiastes 12:7 about those who die in the Lord,
“Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was, and the Spirit shall return into God Who gave it.”
Quiz show over! Class dismissed! The Sadducees were stymied, and completely at a loss for words.
We read in Luke 20:40,
“AND AFTER THAT THEY DARE NOT ASK HIM ANYMORE QUESTIONS.”
The Sound of Silence! It spoke volumes! It’s the CHECKMATE of dialogue! Now you know that they are thinking your thoughts and not just their own! You can see it in their eyes 👀. The silence is a very good sound.
A DRIVER was caught unknowingly in a speed trap, where his excess speed was measured by radar, and a photograph was taken of his car.
A few days later he received in the mail a ticket for $40, and a picture of his car. He then took a picture 📷 of $40, and mailed it to the police station.
Another few days later he received a picture of handcuffs from the police department. He dared not send in any more photographs, and promptly mailed in the $40.
“NOTHING IS STRONGER THAN TRUTH. NOTHING!”
“THE FACT IS THAT TRUTH ALONE IS THE ONE OVER MATCHING POWER TO ALL UNTRUTH IN THE WORLD.”
Our problem is:
“NOT THAT WE DON’T KNOW THE TRUTH, BUT HAVING THE COURAGE TO SPEAK IT.”
2. The Apostles were thrown in prison for preaching JESUS CHRIST CRUCIFIED AND RISEN FROM THE DEAD.
Not only that, but in the name of Jesus many were being healed of all kinds of sickness, as well as many being delivered of demons. Every where they went! It was a whole new movement, THE JESUS MOVEMENT – THE PEOPLE OF THE WAY.
Not only that, but people with all kinds of ailments were being healed by the SHADOW of the Apostle Peter. Shocking! The presence of the LIVING Christ was so strong that even Peter’s shadow was supercharged with healing power.
Gives a whole new meaning to the words of the song “ME AND MY SHADOW.”
The Jewish High Priest became incensed, and with others such as the Sadducees again, put the apostles in a common prison.
Then the angel of the Lord came, and sprang them out of prison. It was one among other prison breaks that the Lord pulled off for the apostles.
We read in Acts 5:19,
“Then the angel of the Lord came by night 🌙, opened the prison doors and brought them forth.”
Just like that! Angels on assignment pulling off prison breaks for the disciples of Christ, no fuss, no muss, no bother. No digging of tunnels, and crawling through miles of sewage. This is SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION angel style! You gotta love it. Just walk out of the angelically opened door. God will make a way where there is no way!
The angel who freed them had very specific instructions for them, as he told the Apostles that they were to go straight to the Temple and preach Jesus.
The Jewish authorities didn’t take too kindly to this, and took them before the Jewish Council and ordered them not to PREACH IN THAT NAME. The Apostles response in Acts 5:29 was simple and to the point,
“WE MUST OBEY GOD RATHER THAN MAN.
Note – We MUST! THIS IS NOT OPTIONAL! THIS IS NOT MULTIPLE CHOICE! THIS IS NOT TAKE YOUR PICK! THIS IS NOT WHATEVER TURNS YOU ON! What man requires is nothing compared to what God requires. We are under Divine orders to preach that name – JESUS!!!
Christianity is not God asking, but His requiring. He does not ever say, “Would you please do me a favor?” Rather, “Obey or else!”
Then it came like a blast from the past, in Acts 5:30, where Peter pulls out the big gun and pulls the trigger,
“THE GOD OF OUR FATHERS RAISED HIM (JESUS) UP, WHOM YOU SLEW AND HANGED UPON A TREE.”
WHAM! KABOOM! BAM! BODY SLAM! ONE – TWO – THREE! BELL RINGS! END OF MATCH!
The Bible says in Acts 5 :33,
“THEY WERE CUT TO THE HEART.”
That did it! Their heart ❤ had been pierced, and their paracardial sack was filling up with blood. When that happens you can’t breathe or find the breath to talk. There was no more response. Silence, except they now sought to kill the Apostles.
You can tell when truth has silenced the opponent. For when they are cornered by truth and have nothing more to say, they will turn ad hominem and attack the person and character of the truth speaker. Always! It is all that’s left.
It happens all the time, if I cannot disprove you, I will demean and degrade you, your wife, and your son!
Here are the Apostles, Peter and John and the others, as illiterate as they were, shutting the MOUTHS of the whole council of elders and priests, giving such a sharp edge to the truth that they spoke.
The true story has it that some employees of Boeing decided to take a rescue raft from one of the 747s on the airfield.
They managed to get the raft out of the 747, and take it to a nearby river. They then inflated the raft, and went for a ride on the river.
It wasn’t long and they were surprised to see a coastguard helicopter coming toward them.
They did not realize it, but the helicopter was homing in on a rescue locator signal which they activated when they inflated the stolen raft.
YOU CAN’T HIDE FROM THE TRUTH, AS THE TRUTH WILL FIND YOU, EXPOSE YOU, AND RENDER YOU SPEECHLESS.
THE SOUND OF SILENCE
“THE ONLY THING THAT CAN SILENCE FALSEHOOD IS TRUTH.”
“EVEN AS THE ONLY THING THAT CAN ECLIPSE DARKNESS IS LIGHT.”
The first thing that must happen is that falsehood must be SILENCED. ONLY THEN CAN TRUTH BE HEARD. TRUTH must silence the din before it can speak!
The Lord calls it a WORD IN SEASON. Proverbs 15:23,
“A WORD SPOKEN IN DUE SEASON, HOW GOOD IT IS.”
I have been there and heard it. The room was full of heady people discussing a very hot topic. And then, a SONIC BOOM is heard, a powerful and insightful word is then spoken, and the room is suddenly SILENT. And from that moment on, the air is clear, and the truth sets us free.
That is what God wants to do through His children in this world.
God ‘s people live by truth, and Satan’s people die by lies. That may sound like an overly simplistic way to characterize life in this world. It isn’t, but rather it is profoundly accurate.
The Broadway Play “CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF” of years ago presents a world and an environment that is FULL OF LIES. In fact, the air is so full of lies, IT SMELLS. It is so dense with lies, that IT STINKS. If you will:
“A WORLD FULL OF STINKING LIES.”
LIKE GARY INDIANA on a very hot and humid summer day! The air is so polluted from the steel mills, you not only smell 👃 it, you can literally taste it and grind it between your teeth. It stays with you long after you have passed through.
God’s people must as never before speak truth to lies and liars. We must speak the truth in love, but speak it we must. Only then will we silence the devil who is the father of lies from the beginning, and most surely will be the father of lies to the end.
This includes calling sin – sin! We live in a world that now calls good evil 👎and evil good 👍. (Isaiah 5:20) Sexual purity, pro-life, heterosexuality, birth gender, and marital fidelity are now called evil, while divorce, abortion, homosexuality, same-sex-marriage, transgender, and premarital sex are called good.
We read in I Timothy 5:20,
“THEM THAT SIN REBUKE BEFORE ALL, THAT OTHERS ALSO MAY FEAR.”
And again Titus 1:13,
“REBUKE THEM SHARPLY.”
That means MORAL ABSOLUTISM! MORAL INTOLERANCE! End of discussion! No compromise.
If a horse 🐎 becomes testy and unruly, wanting to throw off its rider, pampering him is not the way to tame and silence him! But the rebuke, the whip, and the spur will bring him under hand ✋much sooner.
Be prepared, the WORLD HATES TRUTH SPEAKERS. We must speak truth on every front and to every issue, for there is no subject left in this world that doesn’t have THE STENCH OF LIES. Lies now permeate every domain.
Oh yes, the world hates that grating, displeasing thing called TRUTH. The world hates truth as much as it loves sin. God’s people love truth as much as they hate sin. Amen!