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Strength in Silence

Updated: Oct 15, 2021

He was oppressed and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent.”

(Isaiah 53:7 ESV)

Some years ago, I was struck how two women I know, with big, warm hearts, had the calm assurance to draw lines with people. To know where to set the boundary. As I listened to them, I wondered why I often carried a sense of guilt or hesitation to do likewise.

I took this thought to the Lord and he told me: "if your conscience is clear with me, you can set your boundaries with confidence". It was a breakthrough. These two women had loving hearts so knew that their boundary lines were well set. Over a course of months, the Lord taught me how to do the same - always using the benchmark of a clear conscience before him.

Last year, he recovered this theme to me through the example of Jesus before Pontius Pilate, as expressed in Isaiah 53: only this time, the message came through the context of silence: “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent” (ESV).

What he is saying, through Jesus' quiet refusal to defend himself, is that if your conscience is clear with him, if you are right before God, you can stay silent in the face of any accusation.

One time a friend asked me why I did not challenge someone who accuses and misrepresents me, instead choosing to remain silent. I told her it was because I took seriously my accountability before God. 1 Peter 4:5 (ESV) says:”...they will malign you but they will give an account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead”. My accuser will be held to account then. So will I. I seek to ensure that my own account is not tainted by retaliatory words that I may regret.

It is excruciatingly painful to be accused falsely, to have your reputation shattered or to be misunderstood or misrepresented. Jesus experienced all of these during his life and ministry, culminating in his trial before Pontius Pilate. Yet when, like Jesus, we are guiltless and know the Lord understands our heart, no other defence is required. "The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still" (Exodus 14:14).

Said differently, if your account is clear with God, it matters not what anyone else thinks.

For further reading: 1 Peter 3:8 - 4:19.

Copyright © Sharmila Meadows 2021

Scripture quotations are from The ESV®Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Dear Readers, if you have read the comment stream below, I wonder if you also have reflections to share on the power of Exodus 14:14. What God showed me is that if I consider doing something when he has given me this verse, then I am in effect saying that I can handle the situation better than him! That reassures me to "be still" and let God "fight for me".


Dear Readers, this message might present a very different approach to you. Potentially one that rubs against how you feel or maybe it offers hope and confidence in the great advocate who sees our hearts. I would love to hear your views! Thank you for checking into The Mission Post.


Thank you for taking time to visit the Blog and to leave a comment. I'm really pleased that you shared this experience: and how we have both found Exodus 14:14 relevant to this theme. It is really hard to be accused falsely. This verse lifts a burden and reassures us that God honours a clean heart.

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