How many soap-opera episodes or movies have featured as a plot point someone speaking up during a wedding when the officiant asks objectors to “speak now or forever hold their peace?”
Have you ever been to a wedding where that question was asked and answered?
If you have I really want to hear from you.
Anyway, what does it mean to hold our peace? From preliminary research, it appears to mean the rough equivalent of holding our tongues.
Throughout scripture, there are many exhortations to stay silent in order to demonstrate our wisdom! This appears to run counter to our human nature, to marshal every supportive argument we can when people come against us or attack. We want to show all the proof we can that we are right and the other person is wrong.
Ask yourself how many of these interactions you have had in your life that have turned the other person around? I am finding it hard to think of many examples.
I was struck today in reading Psalm 109, in which David asks for help, vindication and brutal defeat of an enemy. If you study the Psalm and commentary on it, you’ll see that it really should not be a model for the everyday believer dealing with adversity in life. I frankly would be terrified to pray such prayers.
However, one thing I did notice and plan to apply is how in the first verses of the Psalm, David asks for God to NOT hold his peace. He asks God to take the situation and administer His justice to it. His list of requests is grim and exhaustive.
I mention this Psalm only for its contrast to what we humans are told to do throughout scripture, which is (generally) to be quiet, to hold our peace. We see Jesus Himself remaining silent in the face of His accusers. But this does not render us powerless. As we pray for strength to hold our own peace, we can simultaneously ask for God NOT to hold His.
Does this mean we will never speak on the topic being disputed?
It simply means we invite God into the conflict to direct resolution.
We may be wrong or we might need to compromise.
Or maybe we need to hold fast.
But first we should hold our peace.
“Hold not thy peace, O God of my praise.” Psalm 109:1
All the Best in 2013!