2 Kings 18:36
“But the people held their peace, and answered him not a word: for the king’s commandment was, saying, Answer him not.”
Sometimes, the loudest answer is no answer at all. Hezekiah figured this out when Rabshakeh threatened the people of Judah. Hezekiah’s command to the people was, “Answer him not.” Fortunately, the people listened to their king, and his non-answer became a loud answer when God stepped in and killed Rabshakeh’s king.
There are times in life when you should give no answer at all. We live in a digital age when many people feel they have to give an answer to everything said on the digital platform, but sometimes silence is the best answer you can give. Yes, there are times when you should give an answer, but most of the time no answer reveals the foolishness of the fool. Proverbs 26:4 says, “Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.” The Scriptures give us several times when the loudest answer we can give is silence. Let me share four times when you should be silent.
First, be silent when the fool spouts their foolishness. The best way to reveal the fools foolishness is not to give adherence to the foolishness that pours from his lips. There are times when you shouldn’t dignify a question because it is so foolish. When someone is simply asking questions out of foolishness, the best answer is silence.
Second, be silent when in the presence of the wicked. Psalm 39:1 says, “I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me.” In other words, when wicked people talk about the pleasantries of wickedness, the best answer is often no answer. The reason it is often the best answer is because they are not interested in hearing the truth. When you are on the job and the wicked are mocking the life of righteousness, the result of living a righteous life speaks louder when they are paying for their wickedness. The fruit of righteous living is the loudest answer against the fruit of wicked living. Just keep doing right and let your life be the answer to the wicked.
Third, be silent to the scorning of the scorner. Proverbs 9:7 says, “He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot.” Just because the scorner displays their contempt for the old paths doesn’t mean you should give them an answer. The reason the scorner attacks is because they have no fruit to prove their lifestyle is right. The only thing the scorner can do to prove they are right is to attack the right living of the old paths. Don’t dignify the scorner by trying to argue with them. You will never change their mind because they are a scorner.
Fourth, be silent when others are not interested in hearing the truth. Matthew 7:6 says, “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” There are times when you are wasting your breath trying to convince someone that they are wrong. If they don’t have a heart to listen, don’t waste your time trying to answer. The only thing you do when you argue with those who don’t want to change is that you are wasting time that you could be helping someone who wants to know the truth. Yes, there are times when an answer should be given, but silence will often the loudest answer you can give to the false religionist.