We received this story in answer to What Happened to Kyle Lake:
A dispute arose between the north wind and the sun, each claiming that he was stronger than the other. At last they agreed to try their powers upon a traveler, to see which could soonest strip him of his cloak. The north wind had the first try; and, gathering up all his force for the attack, he came whirling furiously down upon the man, and caught up his cloak as though he would wrest it from him by one single effort. But the harder he blew, the more closely the man wrapped it round himself. Then came the turn of the sun. At first he beamed gently upon the traveler, who soon unclasped his cloak and walked on with it hanging loosely about his shoulders. Then he shone forth in his full strength, and the man, before he had gone many steps, was glad to throw his cloak right off and complete his journey more lightly clad.
Moral Of The Story: Persuasion is better than force.
We answer below those who use this story to find fault with our presentation of God’s judgment and our contention for His faith against the false and destructive ways of deceivers who come in His Name. We have no problem with the notion of using kind entreaties rather than harsh striving in interactions with others, as you may see in our reply below. It is said of the Lord Jesus:
“He shall not strive, nor cry, nor shall any one hear His voice in the streets. He will not break a bruised reed, and He will not quench a smoking wick, until He sends out judgment to victory” (Matthew 12:19-20 MKJV).
And how does He send judgment out to victory? By the Word of Truth that some find utterly abhorrent and most fearful:
“And they said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him sitting on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of His wrath has come, and who will be able to stand?” (Revelation 6:16-17 MKJV)
We do not strive, but speak the truth in the Lord Jesus Christ. Motive determines all.
Our response to the sender:
Jonathan, we have been approached with this parable before. I enclose Victor’s reply to another man that sent it to us some time ago. I would like for you to answer the questions Victor asks of Lionel, not for our sakes, but for yours. At the end I have a few things to say about what you are suggesting with your “moral of the story.”
Victor’s reply to “The Story of the North Wind and the Sun”:
Greetings in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Lionel!
Thank you for your letter. Yes, I remember well that story from my early grades, an unforgettable one, it seems. I have also considered that story several times over the years concerning myself, and the same thoughts you, perhaps, have about the way I speak. You may be trying to encourage me to change my approach. So I take it. And I thank you for seeking to help me. But let me ask you some questions, and see if you can answer:
Why did they stone the true prophets of old? Was it because they came as the sun, or as the wind?
And why did they spare, even flock to, the false prophets, even as they do to this day? Is it because they come as the sun or as the wind?
Why did they persecute, in many cases to death, the saints (those born again of the Spirit of God, and who loved Him)? Was it because they came as the sun or as the wind?
Were the lives and preaching of those saints, such as Paul, Peter, John and others throughout history, in vain? Were they killed because they tried taking “the coats off people” the wrong way, by wind rather than sun?
What about the following Scriptural testimonies?
“And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him” (Jude 1:14-15).
“Cry aloud, spare not, lift up your voice like a trumpet, and show My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins” (Isaiah 58:1).
“And when Simon saw that the Holy Spirit was given through laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, saying, Give me this power also, that on whomever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Spirit. But Peter said to him, May your silver perish with you, because you have thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God. Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity” (Acts 8:18-23).
“Then he said to the crowd that came forth to be baptized by him, O generation of vipers! Who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bring forth fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say within yourselves, We have Abraham for our father. For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. And now also the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bring forth good fruit is cut down and cast into the fire” (Luke 3:7-9).
Did these men of God come as would the wind, or as the sun?
When Jesus cleansed the Temple, did He come as the wind, or as the sun?
When He spoke the following words, did He come as the wind, or as the sun?
“Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, ‘This people draws near to Me with their mouth, and honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. But in vain they worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men'” (Matthew 15:7-9).
Did He warn His disciples, and truly, all believers, with these following words because they would be coming as the wind, or as the sun?
“And you shall be hated of all men for My Name’s sake, but he that endures to the end shall be saved” (Matthew 10:22).
Lionel, can you answer me these questions?
And what if the prophets did indeed speak sweetly to the people? Would they indeed listen? What did God say to Ezekiel of the people to whom he was sent to speak? Was he instructed to go as the wind, or as the sun?
“And He said to me, Son of man, go! Go up to the house of Israel and speak to them with My Words. For you are not sent to a people of a deep lip and of a difficult language, but to the house of Israel; not to many people of a deep lip and of a difficult language, whose words you cannot hear. Surely, if I had sent you to them, they would have listened to you. But the house of Israel will not listen to you, for they will not listen to Me; for all the house of Israel are strong of forehead and hard of heart. Behold, I have made your face strong against their faces and your forehead strong against their foreheads. I have made your forehead as an adamant harder than flint. Do not be bowed down by their faces, though they are a rebellious house” (Ezekiel 3:4-9).
Do people prefer the wind or the sun?
Did Jesus come as the wind or as the sun?
Did His disciples come as the wind or as the sun?
Why did they crucify Him and kill His apostles, prophets and saints?
Would it make any difference if they came speaking the truth as either the wind or the sun?
“And you, son of man, the sons of your people are still talking about you by the walls, and in the doors of the houses, and speaking to one another, each man to his brother, saying, I pray you, come and hear what is the Word which comes from Jehovah. And they come to you as the people come, and they sit before you as My people, and they hear your words. But they will not do them. For with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goes after their unjust gain. And lo, you are to them as a singer of love songs with a beautiful voice, and able to play well on an instrument; for they hear your words, but they do not do them. And when this happens; lo, it will come; then they shall know that a prophet has been among them” (Ezekiel 33:30-33).
Jonathan, Paul again. Regarding your statement, “Moral Of The Story: Persuasion is better than force”: Who is talking about persuasion in the Kyle Lake matter? You are quite mistaken in what you think we are doing, and consequently about what is at stake. This is not a matter of persuasion at all. No one is trying to win people to an opinion, or to force them out of what they believe. What is happening is that God is warning, as did Jesus (Luke 13), that all of you are in great danger, with deadly consequences, if you don’t repent.
That is the Law of God, not an opinion, and any amount of wishing it to be otherwise and playing the “nice guy” is missing the point. It is self-righteousness, deception, and doomed to perish because it is not addressing the sins of men, which are the cause of the hard things that happen. God, therefore, in His love, gives man warning so that he might be saved from the perverse and stubborn generation that persists in its religious ways and is destroyed, just like Kyle Lake was, and many more will be, if they don’t listen.
You need to repent, remove the beam from your eye, and then you will be able to help others in truth, and not in your “good will” and superficial sentiments that take everyone down to death and hell.
In Noah’s day, men were in great evil, which God endured with longsuffering, tolerating for a time, but not forever. Was the flood a matter of persuasion? Those who didn’t believe were not persuaded, though they did suffer the consequences of their ways.
We are told that our days would be the same as Noah’s:
“But the present heavens and the earth being kept in store by the same Word, are being kept for fire until the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men” (2 Peter 3:7).
Your problem is you don’t know what is godly or ungodly, being in darkness and ungodliness that presumes to be godly. The greater problem will be if you refuse to know, being given light. We haven’t spoken in vain.