“Let It Be”

   It is impressive to note how “digital concordances” like E-Sword can list the number of times even phrases are found in the Bible. How they accomplish this is unknown to feeble minds like mine, but it is an appreciated commodity to us students of God’s word. Accordingly, the phrase “let it be” is found in some twenty-three passages of the KJV of scripture. Of course, the King’s English has changed in a few instances since 1611, and the phrase “let it be” doesn’t always mean “leave it alone” as we commonly use it in today’s English. Determined by its context, the phrase has a variety of meanings. Thayer, for example, lists an array of meanings from simply two Greek words! Strong, conversely, says, “be lawful, to behave as a citizen (figuratively): - let conversation be, live.” One must carefully read and study the context!

   In this article, let’s examine the three New Testament passages in which we find the phrase, “let it be.” First, John 14:27: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Jesus says, “Don’t let your heart (mind, soul) be troubled. Don’t let it be afraid.” If you remove the “not” from the sentence, souls will be lost! The first time we read of someone “moving the ‘not’” from God’s word is when Eve answered Satan, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.” (Gen. 3:2-3), and Satan “moved the ‘not’” by saying, “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” (Gen. 3:4-5) Satan wouldn’t leave God’s truth alone, but simply “moved the ‘not’” to change the truth of God into a lie! Jesus, at John 14:27, was encouraging His apostles to be courageous and accept the peace He gave them. There was no reason for them to be troubled or afraid!

   Next, we find Paul discussing the use of spiritual gifts, and in this context, specifically the gift of speaking in tongues (a foreign language not learned by the speaker but understood by the hearer.) We read from 1 Corinthians 14:27, “If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.” We find his instruction was that should one with the gift of speaking in tongues wish to speak, let there be two such speakers (at the most, three speakers) and let that be done in order (i.e. “by course”) with yet another person interpreting. The phrase “let it be” means here, this is the proper manner by which to accomplish this task.”

   Third, read Peter’s statement from 1 Peter 3:4. “But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” To wives, Peter says their demeanor should be the hidden man of the heart, i.e., the very essence of the woman’s being that bespeaks one of a meek and quiet spirit.  From verses two and three of the chapter, Peter says this is her “adornment,” her “conversation” (which in the KJV means, “manner of living.” Peter is saying, “Let the wives express to their husband a character that genuinely belongs to them; a demeanor of meekness and quietness which is her truest beauty.”

   Some may be asking, “Why such an article?” There are two reasons: 1) to prove we sometimes don’t read as carefully as we think we do and 2) to show the same phrase can (and does” carry three different aspects, each determined by its context! This is the case with multiple passages of God’s word! The careful student of His word will not take a single passage from its context for any reason but will learn why it says what it says when it says it! (In that regard, “let it be” means LEAVE IT AS IT IS WRITTEN!) So many have “jerked” passages from their rightful places, intending to make God say or do something He never said or did! This is how false doctrines arise and thrive in the minds of the unlearned and unstable. (2 Peter 3:14 – 18).

   Every Christian should develop within themselves the vibrancy of the Bereans. Though it was the apostle Paul doing the preaching, and though he had proven his apostleship to many and in many ways, when the Bereans heard he preach, Luke records, “they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” (Acts 17:11) We must receive the word of God readiness of mind (eagerness to hear it) and just as surely, “search the scriptures daily” to see if what we are hearing from the preachers/teachers (all UN-inspired; students of God’s word just like we all must be) are speaking TRUTH and only TRUTH. We can’t just “let it be” (as the Beetles suggested in their song.) Just because we trust the speaker, and are confident in his abilities, doesn’t comfort our hearts. Just because two or three might say it, doesn’t prove it so, and just because our demeanor is righteous doesn’t make our understanding righteous. We need to KNOW the truth, know THE truth, and know the TRUTH … and then “let it be!”