Vol.IV No.IX Pg.2
October 1967

A Time To Stand Still

Robert F. Turner

My dad once operated a large department store. He stayed open, early and late -- using all sorts of honest means to get "traffic." I suppose he wanted the store "on the march."

But ever so often he closed those doors, stopping all sales, and took inventory. Things "stood still" while progress was checked against the records. (It is possible to be on the move, my son, in the wrong direction.)

There is a time to move, and a time to stand still. The Israelites moved out of Egypt, as far as the Red Sea, only to become frightened when it appeared Pharaoh's army would overcome them. They murmured, and would have turned back, but Moses said, "Stand still, and see the salvation of Jehovah, which He will work for you today." (Ex.14: 13a) Before we panic, and in fear of the enemy give up the fight, we need to "stand" and consider the strength of God. "If God be for us, who can be against us?"

Samuel said unto the people, "Now therefore stand still, that I may plead with you before Jehovah..." At this point the Israelites were wanting a King ("like all the nations") and the prophet sought to check their rash digression by reminding them of the way of the Lord. But when people want a King -- when they are determined to be "like all the nations" -- it is difficult to get them to "stand still" and listen. (1 Sam. 12:7-f) The prophet used another measure. He said, "Stand still and see this great thing, which Jehovah will do before your eyes." (vs. 16-f) Having reminded them of God's goodness, he then warned them of His severity: the wrath which He wrecks upon the evil. Current society, including many brethren, may "stand still" to hear about goodness, but there are few who will listen to equally important warnings. But "marching" will not stay judgement. We may "march" to our doom.

Moses answered questions about the service of God by saying, "Stay ye, (stand still, KJ) that I may hear what Jehovah will command concerning you." (Num.9:8) With this attitude we could learn the truth about scriptural worship, organization, the work of the church, and all other questions of our day. But we squirm and twitch; we will not "stand still." "Better to make mistakes than to make nothing." That is popular philosophy; and does not allow a third choice -- "stand still" to learn truth, then move.

"Let all the earth keep silence before Him." (Hab. 2:20) is a plea for man to "stand still" before his God.