WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 9
2 Corinthians 4:9-11
“Persecuted, but not forsaken;
cast down, but not destroyed.”
PERSECUTED BUT NOT DESTROYED
Counsels of people may seemingly harm and impede God’s work, but rest assured that our God who permits this is all-wise. He may allow the enemies’ evil counsels to prevail but in the end it is God’s decretive will that will be accomplished. Be assured of that, believer, and you will not murmur at the enemy’s evil counsels. Our omniscient God knows all things from the beginning until the time we shall come face to face with our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ and beyond.
They were afflicted: The word “beaten” (Acts 5:40) has the idea of scourging or being smitten. Such cruelty was not acceptable even by the early Roman law when a person was not yet proven guilty. However, unfair treatment by unbelieving people should be anticipated. The only transgression the Apostles were accused of was that they did not obey the council of men but chose to obey God alone. Although the Sanhedrin agreed with Gamaliel’s counsel, indignation was still burning in their hearts. They probably remembered the greater afflictions the Lord Jesus Christ had gone through. “And the men that held Jesus mocked him, and smote him. And when they had blindfolded him, they struck him on the face, and asked him, saying, Prophesy, who is it that smote thee? And many other things blasphemously spake they against him” (Luke 22:63-65).
They were ordered: The council commanded the Apostles again not to speak in the name of Jesus. This was considered a crime for them who hated the name of Jesus. This was not possible for believers. To obey the council was to deny the love, mercy and grace of Jesus in their lives. Keeping their mouth shut was depriving the people of hearing the blessings in life. Even the lepers in the days of Elisha understood that they would not do well when they experienced the day of good tidings and they held their mouths from telling others (2 Kings 7:9). How much more for the spiritual glad tidings they had received through Christ, they surely knew they would not do well if they kept their mouths shut!
Would you still continue witnessing even if you were threatened? How do you respond to threatening?
THOUGHT: Am I a cowardly witness?
PRAYER: Father, grant me the grace to be brave for Jesus’ sake.