Holding Peace by Gary Ellis

Audio Version:

The more I treasure the Word of God, the more it reveals to me it’s treasures! I am increasingly intrigued by the wealth that almost seems to be hidden in plain site. At times I’m taken back by the “Wow…I never saw that!  How cooool!”

The wealth in the word that I am referring to today is found in Exodus 14:14, “The LORD shall fight for you and you shall hold thy peace. (KJV)”

In a former church we used to sing the chorus, “Victory oh victory it is mine.  Victory oh victory it is mine.  If I hold my peace, let the LORD fight my battle, victory oh victory it is mine.”

So, what is it mean to “Hold my peace?”

Here’s where it starts to get interesting.  When I’d read or sing hold my peace, I’d assume it meant something like, be peaceful…be quiet. I would logically define the word by how I understood the meaning of the word, peace.  Peaceful. Quiet.

The idea of being peaceful or quiet is not wrong…but it gets waaay better than that.  You see in Exodus 14:14 the word translated peace is not Shalom. It’s Charash. Now, the New International Version puts it this way, “The Lord will fight for you.  You only need to be still.” Peaceful.  Still.  Pretty much same-o, same-o, right?  As far as it goes…right.  But, that doesn’t go far enough.

<btw…this is why I encourage everyone to do their own investigation at places like (Crosswalk.com)>

The Hebrew word, Charash, is also translated with other words and has multiplied figurative meanings that go much deeper.  Words and ideas such as…

  • To cut in or engrave
  • To plow
  • To devise
  • To plot evil
  • To show deafness
  • To imagine

In Exodus 14, the Israelites are fleeing from Egypt and Pharaoh’s army.  They’re afraid to say the least!  They even wonder if God has brought them out to the wilderness to die.  Have you ever felt like that?  You try to follow God and conditions seem to get worse. With natural sight and understanding it wasn’t good for the Israelites…and maybe not in our current situation. This is where God’s instruction was, “Hold your peace.”

Life…being life…has a slough of opportunities to either “fear it” -or- “faith it.”  A more thorough understanding of holding our peace gives us very helpful counsel.  If we take the varying words, we can respond to the trial (we are probably currently in) with fresh wisdom.  Here goes…

I can trust the Lord to fight my battle as I realize my part is to hold my peace…hold onto the the testimony of God’s faithfulness that’s engraved in my heart…turn a deaf ear to all negative voices…remain silent in my negative imaginations…do not allow contrary evidence to plow my field.

That should prime your meditative pump.  Isn’t the Word full of treasure.  Go for it.  Be intrigued by it.  Enjoy it’s sweetness and strength as you chew on it.

Do you have any examples.  Share them in the comments.


  • Jdmoore410

    How do I “remain silent in my negative imaginations”? This area seems to be the hardest battle taking place.

    • Gary Ellis

       Jdmoore410…I know how you feel.  I’ve felt (and at time still feel) the same way myself, but I found that remaining silent in my negative imaginations involves denying them a “voice” by working at constantly replacing them with the images of what God has done.  It’s a psychological fact that, although we seem to be able to multi task, our minds can’t effectively think of more than one thing at a time.  Work at not allowing your mind to dwell on the negative by dwelling on yours or others testimonies of God’s answers in our lives.  I hope that helps.  I didn’t say it would be easy.  But, “push into” the right thoughts and eventually they become normal.