I think of two time in the Bible where it talks about giving an answer. Each of these is very different from the other. The first is;
Job 40:7 God says “Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me.”
God is speaking to Job, near the end of the book, and Job has just come to the realization that he cannot speak to God any longer, and that he has already said too much.
Job 40:1-6 The Lord said to Job: “Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him? Let him who accuses God answer him!”
Then Job answered the Lord: “I am unworthy—how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth. I spoke once, but I have no answer— twice, but I will say no more.”
In this first example, neither Job, not you, nor I would be ready to give an answer to God. This is probably the best example of a time when it is wise to say nothing. God then proceeds to give Job a lesson on why God is God, and Job isn’t. It is very entertaining (and enlightening) reading, but I will leave that for your personal study.
The second time the Bible talks about being ready to give an answer, we are experiencing a totally a different situation. A situation in fact that many Christians of our day have already experienced.
Luke 12:11,12 “When they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not worry about how or what you are to speak in your defense, or what you are to say; for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”
To be brought before rulers and authorities, certainly sounds scary. I can only imagine how the Iranian Christian pregnant mother we have all heard about in the news, felt when she was told that all she had to do was take back her belief in Jesus to be freed from prison. Do you think she tried to talk around the issue and pretend to take back her faith without actually doing it? No, I don’t think she did. This is certainly not a situation that any of us would like to be in, but fortunately the rest of verse 11 and 12 tell us that we don’t need to worry about what we will say, because “the Holy Spirit will teach us in that very hour” what we are to say.
What an amazing promise. We aren’t just cogs in a machine, God really does care about each of us individually, and He has a plan to help us, no matter what situation we find ourselves in.
These two situations, the one in Job, and the one described in Luke, provide us a very interesting contrast. Let us consider for a moment, which of these situations you would like to be in? Would you like to be standing before God and have Him tell you that you will stand up and give an answer, or would you like to stand before men and know with confidence that God will provide the words you will use to answer these men?
Well, I know my answer, I don’t want to be Job, I would much rather stand before Rulers and Authorities and speak the words the Holy Spirit gives me. Would I be afraid in such a situation? Well, lets read a couple more verses to close;
Luke 12:25 “And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life’s span? “If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why do you worry about other matters?”
Luke 12:32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.