Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Sunday, October 29, 2017
“Removing the Veil: Sanctuary Living in the 21st Century.” Our subject is: Speak Up at the Right Time
“When someone sins in any of these ways: If he has seen, heard, or known about something he has witnessed, and did not respond to a public call to testify, he is responsible for his sin” (Leviticus 5:1, HCSB).
Rules of the Street
One of the most unfortunate rules in a couple of communities I have lived is implied in the following urban saying: “Snitches get stitches.” This is a variation of similar rules in communities around the world. What one may infer from this unfortunate idiom is that those who tell authorities any detail regarding a crime will be given physical justice, hood style; and it won’t be pretty. This is perhaps more unfortunate than the crimes themselves, because secrecy often becomes a breeding ground for the recurrence of evil, threats, extortion, blackmail, recurrent sexual abuse, and violence.
What if people were to believe the King of the universe’s thoughts, in principle, on this? The Bible says: “Dear friends, don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot do any more to you after that. But I’ll tell you whom to fear. Fear God, who has the power to kill you and then throw you into hell. Yes, he’s the one to fear” (Luke 12:4-5, NLT). God sees all and knows all. “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works” (Matthew 16:27).
Help Your Community
Well then, now that we realize that human beings should not be honored who create rules that make being honest and forthcoming punishable in their evil little tribunals and street justice, we get to what God was saying in our theme text. If you want to be helpful to your community, and society at large, be honest and brave in the event you have information that would be helpful to solving crimes or other crises. To the matters requiring special sin offerings, our God added withholding eyewitness accounts and evidence.
God is a God of truth and justice. He does not turn a blind eye when we turn a blind eye. It’s not that God is just looking for a way to be punitive. It is that when others are harmed in any way, and we can be of assistance, but refuse (for whatever reason), we are just as culpable as the original perpetrators. We have chosen to participate in their sins and have made the burden even heavier to those originally harmed.
Trust In Times of Real Trial
The moral of today’s story, in case you missed it, is speak up and be honest when called upon. Ask the Lord to bless and keep you, in the event that someone is less than thrilled about your honesty, know that you are in God’s hands.