The Lord has seen violence done to the helpless and yet he has sent his disciples out into the world like sheep among wolves. The Lord has heard the groans of the poor and so he is sure that his disciples will be flogged!!! How can anyone knowingly put themselves in harms way? God is not saying we should set out to find persecution and aim to experience injustice. He says we should be ‘shrewd as snakes’ and use our wit and judgement to minimise trouble. But when trouble and confrontation inevitably finds us, he says we should also be ‘harmless as doves’. He wants us to let the spirit of God speak through us. When we are asked, we can speak of God. When we are wronged, insulted or even punished, we can show the grace of God in our forgiveness and tolerance. When we know God and the power of his promise to protect us, it becomes more and more possible to accept the anger and rage of those who don’t know God.
Matthew 10:16-20 NLT
“Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves. But beware! For you will be handed over to the courts and will be flogged with whips in the synagogues. You will stand trial before governors and kings because you are my followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell the rulers and other unbelievers about me. When you are arrested, don’t worry about how to respond or what to say. God will give you the right words at the right time. For it is not you who will be speaking—it will be the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
Psalms 12:5-8 NLT
5 The Lord replies, “I have seen violence done to the helpless,
and I have heard the groans of the poor.
Now I will rise up to rescue them, as they have longed for me to do.”
6 The Lord’s promises are pure,
like silver refined in a furnace, purified seven times over.
7 Therefore, Lord, we know you will protect the oppressed,
preserving them forever from this lying generation,
8 even though the wicked strut about,
and evil is praised throughout the land.
Dear Lord and Father,
Give me enough wisdom today to be cautious enough to avoid falling into avoidable trouble, but keep me from being so cautious that I might deny you when asked. Give me the courage to speak your name and tell your Gospel when confronted. Give me the faith to know that you will give me the right words at the right time.
In the name of our Lord Jesus I pray. Amen.
Genesis 30:1-31:16, Matthew 10:1-23, Psalms 12:1-10,Proverbs 3:13-15