But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God. ~Acts 5:39
Sometimes, we can be pushed against the wall and forced to make a choice about our faith. Will we stand, or will we fall? Will we be bold, or will we cower? At that critical moment, what you believe about God determines how you will respond. This morning, we see an important principle about doing God’s work and taking a stand for Him.
We see the denunciation.
“Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man's blood upon us.” Peter and John were under censure and punishment for preaching the gospel. The elders of Israel saw them as being insubordinate and insurrectionists. The elders denounced them for their beliefs and boldness. The pressure was on Peter and John.
We see the deference.
“Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.” In spite of the pressure, Peter and John were unbending. Their loyalty to our Lord Jesus Christ was as clear as the day. “We ought to obey God rather than men.” We see their conviction. They knew that disobeying God was not a consideration. They had conviction that even if it meant that they had to suffer, they would obey God. We see their courage. True obedience results in true courage. They demonstrated true integrity in their devotion to Christ.
We see the definite.
“But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it....” Gamaliel was respected among all the elders. He understood the Scriptures to know that if something is of God, no one can stop it. But if it be of God, you have God’s approval. But if it be of God, God is on our side. But if it be of God, the enemy cannot prevail. But if it be of God, you can stand strong. But if it be of God, it has God’s blessing. But if it be of God, you are on the winning side. But if it be of God, He will use you. But if it be of God, you do not need to cower or quit.
We see the defense.
“...Lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.” Gamaliel told the elders that opposition to anything that is of God is fighting with God. He told the elders that God protects those who are doing His business. Fighting with Peter and John meant that the elders were fighting with God. The message to all who oppose the work of God is that they cannot overthrow God. I think of the Israelites as they crossed the Red Sea. The Egyptians could not overthrow them. I think of Joshua when he fought five kings on a mountain. The Lord sent hailstones that took out more men than the sword. I think of Elijah on Mount Carmel as one man against 850 prophets of Baal. I think of Daniel as he obeyed God and survived a night in a lions' den. The opposition experienced that if it be of God, they cannot do anything against it. Make it your priority to obey God courageously and stand. He is on our side, and He will defend us. But if it be of God, you are always doing the right thing when you obey Him.
Have a courageous God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Job 14-16