Saturday, June 11, 2011
“Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29 KJV).
What would you do if your government threatened to imprison or execute you for your refusal to deny the Lord Jesus Christ? Notice what the saints of old did when faced with such a predicament.
Israel’s religious leaders commanded the Apostles Peter and John to stop preaching in the name of Jesus Christ, yet the apostles continued preaching (Acts 4:18-19)! Peter and John were eventually arrested and imprisoned, but God miraculously released them from the jail (Acts 5:17-19).
Now, in the context of today’s Scripture, Peter and John have been recaptured. The high priest asked (Acts 5:28): “Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name?” The apostles’ response is today’s Scripture: “We ought to obey God rather than men.” After the apostles were beaten, they were released, yet they went right back to teaching and preaching Jesus Christ again (verses 40-42)!
In Daniel 3, King Nebuchadnezzar commanded everyone to bow down and worship a golden image. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, Jewish believers in JEHOVAH God, refused to worship the silly idol, even after Nebuchadnezzar threatened to throw them into a fiery furnace (verses 13-18). Miraculously, they were unharmed inside the furnace (verses 24-28)!
Later on, Daniel’s enemies manipulated King Darius to decree a law that no man should petition any God or man, other than petitioning Darius, for thirty days. The punishment for doing so was being cast into a lions’ den. Daniel, having full knowledge of that law, still prayed to JEHOVAH God, three times a day (Daniel 6:10). Finally, Daniel was thrown into the lions’ den. The Bible says, “So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God” (verse 23).
And so, we follow the ensample of the saints of old. Even when faced with the threat of imprisonment or execution, “we ought to obey God rather than men!”