Welcome our guest writer this week:  Mike Slay

October 20, 2011


Read through the Bible in 1+ Year:

1 Kings 2:1-3:2

Acts 5:1-42

Psalm 125:1-8

Proverbs 16:25


Acts 5:33-40a

When they heard this,
they were furious and wanted to put them to death. But a Pharisee named
Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, who was honored by all the people, stood up to
the Sanhedrin and ordered that the men be put outside for a little while. Then
he addressed them: “Men of Israel, consider carefully what you intend to do to
these men. Some time ago Theudas appeared, claiming to be somebody, and about
four hundred men rallied to him. He was killed, all his followers were
dispersed, and it all came to nothing. After him, Judas the Galilean appeared
in the days of the census and led a band of people in revolt. He too was
killed, and all his followers were scattered. Therefore, in the present case I
advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or
activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not
be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”

His speech persuaded


Say what? How could that argument work? They were about as
closed minded as you can get. Were their eyes opened?

Gamaliel’s main point is that they were being presumptuous
in trying to do God’s job for Him. He cites two situations that God handled
just fine without their help. But there’s another example he doesn’t need to
mention – Abraham.

Abraham and Sarah “helped” God fulfill his covenant promise
to make a great nation of Abraham when they hatched the scheme to use Hagar to
produce a child. How did that turn out, eh?

The Sanhedrin was well schooled in the tragic consequences
of people being presumptuous about doing God’s job. All Gamaliel had to do was
point out the context of the current situation and they could figure out the
rest for themselves.

One of the central, recurring themes of scripture is the
folly of presuming to think for God. Today’s reading hits it twice.

There is a way that
seems right to a man but in the end it leads to death.
– Proverbs 16:25