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Daily Devotionals

Day 66 – Issue 37

todayMay 1, 2015 9

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Be Still Know

READ: Acts 5.38-39 NLT

Gamaliel said, “My advice is, leave these men alone. Let them go. If they are planning and doing these things merely on their own, it will soon be overthrown. But if it is from God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You may even find yourselves fighting against God!”

The success of Peter and John’s healing and preaching ministry was deeply irritating to the Jewish authorities. They were anxious to silence them but nothing seemed to be working. They tried imprisoning them but even that didn’t work as the apostles miraculously managed to escape and carry on their preaching ministry in the Temple. So, once again, they were hauled before the Jewish leaders who had become so furious that many of them wanted to put Peter and John to death.

Rabban Gamaliel suggested a different approach. Gamaliel was one of the most prominent rabbis of the time and was greatly respected by everyone. He was the apostle Paul’s rabbi and was so revered that he had the title rabban which literally means our teacher, to distinguish him from the title rabbi which was used for ordinary teachers. Gamaliel suggested that it would be wise not to take action against the apostles for the simple reason that if the new movement was not of God it would fizzle out anyway. But on the other hand, if the new Jesus movement was of God then the authorities could find themselves fighting against the Lord, and that would be a foolish thing to do. The decision was to flog the apostles and let them go.

Rabban Gamaliel, the wise Pharisee, got it right. It is impossible to stop God. Last century there were many organised attempts to banish Christianity particularly under communism. The church in China has been placed under massive pressure. During the Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1976 thousands of Christians were imprisoned and subjected to humiliation. But the church was merely driven underground and since that time it has grown enormously. It’s impossible to know how many Christians there are in China today but it is likely to be about 100 million! When God is at work it is impossible to stop him, however hard people try.

QUESTIONS: In what way do Gamaliel’s words encourage you?

PRAYER: We praise you loving God that ultimately no one can stand in the way of your plans. Amen

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Written by: Matt Weet

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