Be Still When People Would Judge You (Advent 7, 2017)

How Mary could remain calm is beyond my understanding.  Not only would there be the shock and excitement, after all, it’s not every day you even meet an angel (let alone have one speak to you). 

But inevitably, there would arise judgment from other people.  Those who wouldn’t understand.  No one could, really.  Bear God’s Son?  You’re kidding, right, Mary?  But for some, it would go beyond the beautiful land of marvel and incredulity into the dark territory of judgment and condemnation. 

Keep Calm and Carry On.

Be Still and Trust God.

How can you Be Still when people judge you?  Have you ever been there? We could learn a few things from Mary on this one, too. 

Luke 1:56 Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.

About three months she was gone.  Long enough– beginning at Elizabeth’s sixth month until her ninth.  Technically long enough to watch the birth of Elizabeth’s son John or maybe to assist with the birth process she’d experience herself in just a few short months.  Scripture only says “about three months.”  Long enough for her to begin showing.  No hiding it now.  No turning back.  Might as well face it.

She didn’t return home to where judgment would be worst until God had prepared her to endure it.  Maybe she’d seen the older, wiser Elizabeth deal with people whose outward actions are joyful, but behind closed doors, perhaps another story.  Granted, Elizabeth wouldn’t have the scorn of judgment, but she most certainly faced a few raised eyebrows.  After all these years with Zechariah and (snickering) NOW a baby? 

It’s not always outright judgment and accusation, it can be the sharp edge of a simple joke, maybe about the Ancient Near East version of a milkman or being a cougar while Zechariah was away on business. Maybe the drift of something in the air or beneath the surface, that talking about you behind your back.  Have you ever known it?  I’m fairly certain Elizabeth did.  And I’d bet my bottom dollar that Mary knew it painfully and all too well.

 * * *

Be Still, Mary.  When people judge you, I want you to remember this, Mary: it’s more a reflection on them than it is on you.

Be Still.  In time, I will vindicate you.  Then you will proclaim as David did before you, Psalm 35:27 “May those who delight in my vindication shout for joy and gladness; may they always say, ‘The LORD be exalted, who delights in the well-being of his servant.'”

Be Still and Know that I AM God.  In the end, only My judgments will stand.  All others will melt away as I silence your accusers, even ones you know nothing about.  Even ones generations in the future.

Be Still and Know that I AM God.  I AM the One True Judge and LORD.  I have a special place in My heart for the humble servant who relies on Me.  My Word says in Deuteronomy 32:36 “The LORD will judge his people and have compassion on his servants when he sees their strength is gone and no one is left, slave or free.”  You can count on it.

Questions for Reflection: 

  1. How likely are you to want to fight your own battles and argue with your accusers? 
  2. The Bible has examples in both Old and New Testaments of people offering their own defense: Moses, Elisha, Peter, John, and Paul.  How do we know whether to remain silent because it’s a battle for God to fight versus when do we need to do it ourselves? 
  3. Did Mary offer a defense of herself before others?  What does Scripture tell us occurred (Luke 1:26-2:40)? 
  4. Read Matthew 10:18-20.  When we faithfully speak in our own defense, is it really us?


Still Christmas, Advent 2017 Devotionals began December 3, 2017 and are archived from that date.

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on December 9, 2017

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