Who do you obey? (Acts 5:22 - 32)
The background of today’s passage is that the apostles were arrested for the second time. They were just freed from prison by an angel of the Lord and the apostle went back out to Jerusalem to preach the Gospel. Again, the Jewish leaders threaten the apostles to stop teaching about Jesus, salvation and resurrection (v.28). Incredibly, Peter and the other apostles defied their warning and replied “We must obey God rather than man”.
Obedience to God.
In the face of real persecution and arrest, Peter and the apostles essentially told the Jewish leaders, we will not listen to you. We will not stop preaching about Christ. When human values conflict with biblical values, it is clear, biblical values and God’s commands must prevail. In today’s culture, there are many opposing human values that threatens biblical values and people might find themselves confuse or under pressure to accept what the world says. So much so that, it is unfortunate to read in the news that some churches have succumbed to the pressure of man and left God in the passenger’s seat. They chose the approval of man rather than God.
Daniel’s 3 friends were under tremendous pressure to disobey God from King Nebuchadnezzar and worship an idol. If anyone was found not worshipping it, they will be thrown in a fiery furnace. Daniel’s 3 Jewish friends refused to bow down and went against the popular tide (Daniel 3). They trusted God was with them in their decision to be faithful to God rather than men. In the face of uncertainty and in the face of fear, just like Peter and the apostles, they knew God was with them even in the fire and in any difficulty.
Obedience is not always easy but we always trust God to give us strength to obey him. As we are approaching Christmas, we celebrate trusting and knowing that He is our Emmanuel. We celebrate knowing that our savior was born to live a life of obedience to His Father to the point of death on the cross.
Dear Lord, please give me a humble heart to surrender to your instructions at all times. Help me obey to the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Give me the strength not to succumb to worldly pressure and values and enable me to stand firm and glorify your Holy name.