A Good Time to Heed Gamaliel’s Advice
While many people are in a celebratory mood following the results of the recent election, many others continue to predict dire consequences from the new administration. It reminds me of the account in the book of Acts describing the response of the Sanhedrin–leaders of the religious sect of the Pharisees–to the birth and rapid growth of the early church.
We read in Acts 5:17-18 that because of the powerful impact of their teaching, the apostles were thrown in jail by the Jewish High Priest and Sadducees. During their first night in jail, God freed them by sending an angel (vs 19) so that they could continue preaching the gospel. This led to a second effort to silence them.
Luke, the author of Acts, records that the apostles were apprehended by the temple police and brought before the Sanhedrin to explain their actions (vss. 26-28). This is where Gamaliel–a leader of the Pharisees who was widely respected for his wisdom–intervened in order to put things in perspective for those who were overcome with negative emotions:
He said to them, “Men of Israel, be careful about what you’re going to do to these men… And now, I tell you, stay away from these men and leave them alone. For if this plan or this work is of men, it will be overthrown; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You may even be found fighting against God.” So they were persuaded by him (Acts 35, 38-39).
With respect to the recent election, Mrs. Clinton voiced similar thoughts in encouraging her supporters to “give him (Trump) a chance.”
I believe the safest and wisest approach is to follow the counsel of Gamaliel. This means that we are wise to allow for the possibility that the new administration will produce undeniably positive results. But it also means that we are wise to allow for the possibility that the new administration will fall short of expectations.
We must also remember that God can even use evil to achieve His divine purposes–which is illustrated throughout Scripture. For example, check out what Luke wrote in his gospel in Chapter 23:6-12. Then consider Principle 49 in my Life Essentials Study Bible that grows out of this passage:
Evenwhen evil leaders engage in terrible acts of violence in order to achieve their own selfish goals, we are to acknowledge God’s overall sovereign control over events in history.
Nevertheless, based on recent appointments and public statements, it seems there are indications that the new administration will bring about some significant improvements. We should certainly be praying for the President-elect, his inner-circle, for members of Congress and “all those who are in authority” (1 Tim. 2:2). This is a God-given mandate for all Christians.
Gene on Family Talk, with Dr. James Dobson
Several months ago I received a call from Dr. James Dobson inviting me to participate in his syndicated Family Talk program, currently airing on more than a thousand radio stations. More specifically, he expressed interest in promoting the new release of the multi-media version of The Measure of a Man.
Following his invitation, I recently traveled to Colorado Springs to meet with Dr. Dobson and members of his organization for the purpose of recording two programs on “The Measure of a Man” that aired last week–Wednesday and Thursday, November 9th and 10th.
Dr. Dobson’s invitation came as a complete surprise–further evidence to me of God’s desire to reach even more people with the transformational truths contained in The Measure of a Man. Please join me in praising and thanking God for the many special ways in which He continues to bless our ministry.
Listen to Wednesday’s Familytalk podcast.
Listen to Thursday’s Familytalk podcast.
Life Essentials Study Bible
What Makes this Bible Unique?
√ 1,500 Bible Principles from Genesis to Revelation embedded in the biblical text featuring an enduring truth in each passage of scripture.
√ “Reflection and Response” questions at the end all Bible Principles to help you immediately personalize the teachings.
√ Over 250 hours of access to practical video and audio presentations of 1,500 Bible Principles to Live by from Dr. Gene Getz.
√ Daily two minute audio broadcast of Bible Principles.
Sign up for our weekly newsletter
'A Word From Gene' is our weekly newsletter with timely articles and news.Free Newsletter