Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall you diminish aught from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you. ( Deut. 4:2)KJV
When God is silent on a subject, does that mean it’s alright to do it? God commands us to do many things. Jesus tells us if we love him we will keep his commandments (John 14:15). We know that when God commands us to do certain things, we absolutely must obey him. But what do we do, when God says nothing at all about a subject?
Let us go to the Old Testament, which we know is for our learning (Rom. 15:4). From it we learn the nature and character of God and also how He dealt with mankind in the past. In Numbers 20:7-12, we read how Moses struck the rock twice and water came forth abundantly for the Israelites and their beast. “Well, what was wrong with that,” one might ask? God brought forth the water, so He must have been pleased with Moses. Not so, for look at verse 8, God commanded Moses to speak to the rock, not strike it. But nowhere did God say, “Do not strike the rock,” thus God’s silence is by no means consent, but rather, it is prohibitive. This may seem like a minor infraction to us, but it wasn’t minor to God. By doing something that God was silent on, showed disrespect for God and resulted in Moses dishonoring God before Israel. When God gives us a command, we are to carry out only that command, anything more or less is rebellion against the authority of God. This “minor” infraction by Moses would keep him from entering the promised land. Thus, from the Old Testament, we learn much about the mind and nature of God.
Another good example of the silence of God is found in Leviticus 10:1-3. Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, put fire and incense in their censer and offered strange fire before the Lord, which He had not commanded them. And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them and they died before the Lord. Evidently God had commanded them on what fire to use and was silent about the strange fire that they chose to use. An important lesson here is that anything God has not authorized in his word is sin and is displeasing to him.
Again in I Sam. 13, we read how Saul being afraid of the impending war with the Philistines, had been told by Samuel to wait seven days till the appointed time and he would offer up a burnt offering to the Lord. Yet Saul proceeded to offer up the burnt sacrifice himself, choosing to ignore what the Lord had commanded. God had not specifically told Saul not to offer up the sacrifice, but He had commanded the who, when, and how the burnt offering was to be made. For Saul’s transgression, the Lord chose to reject him, and give his kingdom to another.
God communicates with us through his word, the same way we communicate with our children in this life. When we tell our teenagers not to go to Bowling Green, but are silent about Nashville or Louisville, our silence definitely is not consent for them to go to any other place either.
Some say to me, “They did it in the Old Testament, and that is how I want to worship.” But, again I say, “God has changed the law” (Heb. 7:12). Jesus fulfilled and nailed the old law to his cross when he died for our sins (Col. 2:14). We no longer live under the law of Moses, today we live under the New Testament of Christ. We are to do the things Jesus authorizes in his word. If Jesus has not authorized it, then we are forbidden from doing it. Why should we ever want to go beyond what Jesus says? God has offered us the gift of life eternal, through Christ, when we love Him and keep his commandments (Rom.6:23).
We invite all who would, to come together with us each Sunday morning at Kedron on the Coopertown Road, Russellville, Kentucky, to worship God in spirit and in truth. We neither add to God’s word or take from it. Bible study at 10:00 and Worship at 11:00. If anyone has questions: please call 270-657-2455..
Brother Richard Sitz speaks on the first Sunday of each month and Crittenden Drive Church of Christ has graciously supplied us with a host of guest speakers for the remaining weeks of the month. We invite one and all to come visit with us and be uplifted by these fine presentations of the “Good News” of God’s holy word.