Reputation can often precede a person. “Oh, I’ve heard so much about you!” You’ve probably said those words, and I know that I have. A life lived well can earn the attention, respect, and even applause from those who are not yet acquainted with the one being esteemed. The world of social media only encourages this, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Again, a life WELL LIVED speaks much louder than perhaps words ever could.
Let’s take this train of thought and transfer it to the God of the Bible. As you read through the Old and New Testaments, the above statement is proven to be true time and again about God. His reputation preceded Him. The surrounding nations “had heard” about the things He had done for the nation of Israel, and it instilled within them a holy fear and a knowing beyond their own understanding that “…the LORD your God, He is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath.” (Joshua 2:11b)
I found myself on the pages of Joshua again this past week, and in particular, Joshua 1 and 2. I’m an avid note taker, and I’m constantly underlining, highlighting, and taking down notes in the margins of my Bible—constantly. So much so that certain books in my Bible (um, Ephesians) have gotten so marked up that it’s become difficult to actually read the words on the pages. My Bible is about 15 years old, and it has been well used and well loved. About a year ago, I decided that it was time to invest in a new Bible with clean, fresh pages…an opportunity, perhaps, to invite the Holy Spirit to speak a fresh word to me in my study.
But back to Joshua.
Years ago, I had written these words above Joshua 2:10:
“The Word and works of God cannot be silenced.”
The scene is this: Joshua had sent two spies into Jericho to scope out the land, and they found themselves hiding in the home of a prostitute named Rahab. Just before these two men went to bed for the night, she delivers these words to them:
“I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you devoted to destruction. And as soon as we heard it, our hearts melted, and there was no spirit left in any man because of you, for the Lord your God, He is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath.” (Joshua 2:9-11)
She goes on in verses 12 and 13, but did you catch that one phrase in verse 10?
“For we have heard…”
Despite all of the opposition that the nation of Israel had faced, despite every oppressor that had ruled over them, despite the long, hard, difficult journey…the surrounding nations “had heard” of their God.
Perhaps, this is a timely word for you and for me today. NOTHING can silence or stop or thwart the Word and Works of God. No one can silence His name. The fame of His name exceeds the power of any enemy or opposition who would try to silence it. Despite the continuing efforts of mankind to persecute followers of Jesus and to remove or destroy His Word, it still remains, and with great power. Hardships and difficulty cannot silence His Word and His works. Try as some may, no one will ever succeed in silencing the Word and works of God, because He will insure that BOTH will remain forever.
We can find great hope in this promise. We live in a world that rarely esteems the honoring of God. Persecution and opposition against His truth is rising. Even in western cultures such as our own, it is becoming increasingly unpopular to speak the truth and to stand up for Biblical convictions. Still, NOTHING can silence our God. Take heart, my friends. He who is in you is much greater than he who is in this world.