2017-01-11 - Saying "No"
The Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance has approximately 1,200 entries which include the word “no” in them. They are in different contexts, of course, but most are explaining a thought of negation, or why a particular noun is the opposite of the affirmative.
For example, take the verse from Psalms 81:9 “There shall no strange god be in thee; neither shalt thou worship any strange god.” As servants of the creator of the universe, we are told we are not to worship any god other than the God of the universe. If we subscribe to the truth of this concept in our lives, then the word no doesn’t have any negative connotation; it’s just what is true, and how God explains the importance of Himself to us - and in turn the importance of ourselves to Him.
Take also a simple statement from John 2:3 “ And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.” It just simply means they have a lack of wine. The book of Isaiah 48:22 “There is no peace, saith the Lord, unto the wicked.” This is clarifying that wicked actions do not bring peace to anyone. It may seem like freedom, but it’s not true.
Also in Isaiah 62:7-9 “ And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth. The Lord hath sworn by his right hand, and by the arm of his strength, Surely I will no more give thy corn to be meat for thine enemies; and the sons of the stranger shall not drink thy wine, for the which thou hast laboured:But they that have gathered it shall eat it, and praise the Lord; and they that have brought it together shall drink it in the courts of my holiness." This group of verses explains that when serving the Lord, the things he provides us will be ours and not that of our enemies.
A very well-known scripture with no in it is Revelation 21:4 is “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” This scripture reveals God’s promise of eternal life with him, being fulfilled with things that have hurt us no longer being part of our world with Him.
The point of all of this is the fact that no is not always a bad thing, yet in the world we live, it is often viewed in such a way. God uses the word no, very often, to coincide with discipline or explain the results of our being disciplined. He doesn’t go around it feeling he needs to be positive in his speech, explaining something we should avoid which is intended for our own good. And it certainly doesn’t seem negative, telling us there will be no more pain. I’m looking forward to every aspect of pain being non-existent. And anything suggested to me as an activity, behavior, or idea to take on that interferes with what he wants me to do, or doesn’t make sense to me based on His truth, will get a “no thank you” if that’s how I’m led - even if it makes me unpopular. I won’t be negligent of my duties and responsibilities to Him, yet will not be trapped, as in times past, in the guilt-filled cycle of saying yes to everything without regard to the necessity of good balance in my life. It’s balance that helps me to be a better servant.
“I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them.” (Romans 16:17NIV)
This verse leads right back to the next one.
“You shall have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:3 NIV)
All scripture references from King James Version (KJV) unless otherwise noted