Week of February 26 - March 3
Sin of Silence – Man as Defender

"If anyone sins in that he hears a public adjuration to testify, and though he is a witness, whether he has seen or come to know the matter, yet does not speak, he shall bear his iniquity … he shall bring to the Lord as his compensation for the sin that he has committed, a female from the flock, a lamb or a goat, for a sin offering. And the priest shall make atonement for him for his sin." - Leviticus 5:1, 6 ESV

America changed forever on 9/11 when 19 Al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four planes and wreaked havoc and death in New York City and Pennsylvania and at the Pentagon. Sadly, that national disaster might have been averted if a number of individuals who possessed vital and actionable intelligence had sounded the alarm loudly and had been taken seriously. In fact, Thomas Kean, chair of the 9/11 Commission and co-author of the report, not only cataloged the missed opportunities but also made recommendations going forward. Kean stated:

"If the FBI and the CIA and 14 other intelligence agencies had been talking to each other, most of us feel that the attack would have been prevented. We reorganized the whole intelligence apparatus so instead of several agencies there’s now one head–the director of national intelligence–and then people from the various agencies meet together and share information."

When I served as Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence in the Bush administration after 9/11, I became a part of that multi-agency group that shared intelligence. Thankfully, a number of credible terrorist threats were neutralized as a result. In fact, in an effort to get the public involved, a national campaign was launched by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), borrowing a slogan from the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority: “See Something, Say Something.” The DHS campaign was launched in conjunction with the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative. In 2018, DHS designated September 25 as National “If You See Something, Say Something®” Awareness Day, also known as #SeeSayDay.

In Leviticus 5:1, God instituted the first official “See Something, Say Something” law. It was the duty of everyone who witnessed a matter in question to come forward and testify or tell the truth about what happened. Even if a person was not an eyewitness, if he knew the truth about a matter, he was obligated to come forward. If that person who witnessed or knew the truth kept it to themselves, that person would be held responsible. Declining to provide testimony was a sin.

The reason is simple: God is a God of truth. So, it is not surprising that God required His people to make the truth known. Consequently, in our role as Defenders, we can’t afford to be silent when we are aware of evil or the danger caused by it. We must speak up and speak out.

For example, when we find out about young school children being introduced to sexual explicit material, we need to say something. When we hear about girls having to share their bathrooms and locker rooms with biological males, we need to say something. When lawmakers introduce legislation falsely promoting abortion as health care, we need to say something. By now, you probably get the point. However, here’s one final scenario: When our lost family and friends need to hear the truth about Jesus, we need to say something. Think about it. Much more than life or death hangs in the balance—it’s heaven or hell. So don’t commit the sin of silence. Share the truth.

Reflection Questions
1. Have you ever witnessed evil or known about plans for evil and failed to say something about it? Have you considered how that evil will negatively impact or even endanger the lives of others?
2. What about the family members or friends who need to hear the truth about Jesus? Why not make plans now to sit down and share Jesus with them?
3. Pray and ask God for forgiveness for the sin of silence and for the courage to speak truth.