to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice *
October 28, 2019 – Monday
Acts 5:29-32 NIV
29 Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings!
30 The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead—whom you killed by hanging Him on a cross.
31 God exalted Him to His own right hand as Prince and Savior that He might bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins.
32 We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him.”
What were Peter and the other apostles replying to in the verses above?
27 The apostles were brought in and made to appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. 28 “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.”
What the Sanhedrin said was true. They did not want the apostles to teach in Jesus’ name as they were indeed guilty of this man’s blood. That is why when the apostles were healing many people among many signs and wonders (v12), the high priest and all his associates, who were members of the party of the Sadducees, were filled with jealousy. (v17) Their anger and jealousy was so great they had the apostles arrested and placed into jail, but God had other plans. He sent an angel to release them and direct the apostles to tell the people all about this new life.
So they did, teaching the people at the temple courts. That’s where they were discovered once the Sanhedrin found they were no longer in jail when. 25 … someone came and said, “Look! The men you put in jail are standing in the temple courts teaching the people.” 26 At that, the captain went with his officers and brought the apostles. They did not use force, because they feared that the people would stone them.
We might imagine this as quite an incredible quandary, obey the authorities or obey God? What would we do? What would I do? The apostles made their position clear when they answered the authorities, We must obey God rather than human beings! They knew God and His Son Jesus and justified their decision saying God raised Jesus from the dead …We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him.
This is an example of how and when Christians are to disobey those in authority. When the directions of the authorities are in direct conflict with God’s directions, choose God’s directions. Want a modern day example? Here are two. Doctor or nurse are ordered to assist/participate in an elective abortion. You are ordered to accept/treat a man as a woman because, no matter what his DNA says, he believes in the delusion that he is a woman.
What happened to the apostles you ask? Those in authority wanted them put to death, but a speech by a Pharisee named Gamaliel convinced them not to do so by concluding Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. 39 But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.” Instead of receiving a death penalty they were flogged and released.
How did the apostles then respond? You may be surprised to find out 41 The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. 42 Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.
It is my hope that when our day (my day) arrives to obey some authority or to obey God we (I) will choose to obey God.
(to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice)
* Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. (1 Samuel 15:22)