Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Week Twenty-Four - Hold


“He that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbour: but a man of understanding holdeth his peace.”  Proverbs 11:12

“Forever hold your peace” is a phrase commonly heard in a marriage ceremony.  The audience is given opportunity to voice any reservations about the marriage and if no one voices their concern at that moment, they are instructed to not mention anything contrary forever.  I’ve been to many weddings, but have yet to hear anyone speak up!

The instruction to hold our peace here in Proverbs is not limited to a wedding ceremony.  The picture is of one keeping silent in the face of provocation or frustration.

Clarke’s Commentary on this verse reads:  “He that is void of wisdom – a foolish man is generally abundant in his censures; he dwells on the defects of his neighbour, and is sure to bring them into the most prominent view.  But a man of understanding – a prudent, sensible man, hides those defect wherever he can, and puts the most charitable construction on those which he cannot conceal.”

I really like that.  It isn’t that we should never say anything, but that we should be choosing carefully what we do say.  Barnes puts it like this, “The wise man, if he cannot admire or praise, will at least know how to be silent.”

Provocation and frustration are temptations for us all and many times we yield and blurt out words that we later regret.  Maybe we ought to consider the public ears and know when to speak up and when to hold our peace!

What about your words?  Are you critical of others?  Are you publically verbal about your frustrations? What changes do you need to make in your verbal assessment of others?


“Hold me up, and I shall be safe:  and I will have respect unto thy statutes continually.”  Psalm 119:117

Ever felt that you needed a hug or someone to hold you?  Life can get so heavy and weary that you feel you just can’t quite take it any more. Then, someone comes along with a kind word, a good handshake, or a big hug and things feel a bit better.  The Psalmist is asking God for exactly this – a good hug.  The word actually means to sustain, support or refresh.  Isn’t that great? God knows we need support and refreshment and He knows exactly how best to give it!

I was very close to my great-grandparents and I remember the passing of my great-grandfather.  I was about eleven years old.  I was very sad, but my father came along with a hug and held me.  I felt so safe and comforted.  In times of bereavement a gentle hug goes a long way.

Matthew Henry said, “Our holy security is grounded on Divine supports”.  We have a place to go when life gets weary.  A place where we can find the comfort, refreshment and security we are seeking.  We cannot live without this grace of God.  The knowledge that the everlasting arms are there for us gives us strength and comfort.  When all around us is whirling and trying to bring us down, we can be assured that the Lord will hold us up.  We are safe in his arms.

Need a hug today?  Then just stop resisting and allow the Lord to meet your need!


“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.  Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”  Matthew 6:24

I memorized this verse years ago. I was struggling with worrying over finances so I studied this portion of the Sermon on the Mount and took my worries over and over to the Lord.  I realized that I had to choose who was going to control my life – the Lord, or the money.  It wasn’t an easy thing.  We had a young family and a low income, but we also had the Lord, and as I worked through this I saw Him provide in many ways.  I came to realize that money comes and money goes, but God is always there.

The word “hold” here means to be devoted to, or to cleave to.  That word cleave has the idea of being stuck unto.  And we sure can get stuck into worry on money!  The verse is telling us that we need to understand that we will be devoted to that which we love supremely.  It is warning that we are faced with the choice. The outcome and/or consequences will reveal our choice.  There are no two ways about it!

For me, this wasn’t a one-time choice.  The Lord has brought me back to this decision many times as I see greed or worry creeping into my life because of financial difficulties or challenges.  It has always brought me to question myself, “Whom do I love?  Whom do I trust?”  It is easy to say I trust the Lord and love Him, but my choices will reveal the truth and they are obvious in my actions.

What about you?  Do you worry over finances?  Are you greedy of gain?  Do you participate in get-rich-quick schemes and games?  Judge yourself – there are only two choices.


“My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go:  my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live.”  Job 27:6

Poor old Job, all of his friends are trying to find fault with his life and blaming him for his consequences.  But Job protests his sincerity.  He truly believes that it is the hand of God upon his life and he has determined to hold fast, as he stated in 13:15, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him…”

When he says he will hold fast to his righteousness, he is not referring to his own personal perfection, but he is placing his faith and confidence in the righteousness of his Redeemer.  He had determined that this trial would not cause him to waver in his devotion to the Lord.  He would not allow his heart to speak foolishly. 

I John 2:28 gives us a similar instruction.  “And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.”  Job knew that he wanted to stand confident before the Lord as good servant.  We, too, need to have our sights on the future when we will stand before the Lord.  All through the Bible and the ages past men and women have made this choice.  They have determined, as Daniel of old, not to defile themselves, but to maintain their righteousness in the sight of God and to keep hold of their hearts so they can have a good reward.

To “hold fast” is to be so minded.  What about you?  Are you solid?  Are you determined to follow the Lord no matter the circumstances and remain self-controlled?  Can you say, like Job, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him?”


             “…Hold fast that which is good.”
                       I Thessalonians 5:21

To hold fast is an instruction given many times in Scripture.  It always has the idea of holding firmly, to anchor, to take possession, retaining and seizing. To end this study, let’s look at the many things we are told to hold fast.

I Thessalonians 5:21 – hold to - that which is good. 
Take time to evaluate what comes through your life.  Listen to what you are being taught.  Evaluate it by Scripture and the Spirit.  Keep the good part and refuse the bad.  Become a good person filled with goodness.

Hebrews 10:23 – hold to - the profession of our faith.
Be sure of your salvation.  Be sure of your doctrine and live by it.

Revelation 2:25 – hold to - that which we already have. 
Matthew Henry says,  “All Christians should earnestly desire that their last works may be their best works.”  Along our walk we have learned some things and developed some Christian qualities.  Hold fast to these as you wait for the Lord’s coming.

II Timothy 1:13 – hold to - sound words.
God has a plan and it is found in His Word.  These are sound words upon which you can build a life.  They are not merely words, but doctrines, principles and instructions, which will give us a good life if we will maintain them and apply them.  There are laws of life, like the law of sowing and reaping, that we are wise to understand.  These are sound words that do not change.

It all comes down to where you place your anchor.  Are you anchored in the things of God?  Do you know the value and wisdom in holding fast to God’s instruction?  Have you experienced failure when you have just let go and done your own thing?

No comments:

Post a Comment