Text: “And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.” – Acts 5:38, 39.
Comment: In the early days of the Church, some of the elders of the people, the Pharisees and Sadducees, directed them not to preach with the name of Christ in their localities. But the apostles defied the order which was given at the instance of Satan. They insisted that, “We ought to obey God rather than men”. (Acts 5:29) The Jewish leaders saw this open defiance as an affront and therefore hatched a plot to put these disciples of Christ to death. But from among them rose a respected lawyer named Gamaliel, who reminded them of some self-acclaimed prophets in the past who ended as monumental failures and cautioned them to exercise restraint in how they dealt “with these men”. (Acts 5:40). That Dr. Gamaliel asked the apostles to be put aside for him to dialogue with the Jewish elders prevented them from shedding blood. He presented undeniable facts of history and warned them against acting rashly out of anger, thereby running the risk of fighting against God. Dialogue must be based on facts, reason, history or experiences of the past, boldness, with primacy being placed on the laws of God. We should be bold in doing the work of God knowing that He would protect us from the powers of the enemy, no matter how powerful they may seem to be. That God delivered the apostles is proof that He is indeed mighty to save. – Isaiah 45:21, 22; John 10:28-30