Coronavirus lockdowns have forced many places to close or change how they do business. For two months now, I haven’t been able to get a haircut, hang out at coffee shops, or attend most church services in person. Nevertheless, there are Christians who are quick to preach about “obeying the laws of the land” (Romans 13:1-6, Titus 3:1-2). I agree with that to a point. For example, no one should violate the speed limit except for policemen catching criminals and first responders trying to save lives.
Sometimes civil disobedience is necessary when a law contradicts the higher laws of God. These individuals in the Bible wouldn’t have fulfilled their divine destinies had they followed every man-made ordinance…
- The Hebrew midwives were ordered to throw newborn boys into the Nile River (Exodus 1:16). One mother hid her son for three months and then sent him floating down the river. Moses eventually led the Israelites out of captivity.
- Esther went against protocol by appearing before King Ahasuerus even though it could have cost her life. Her actions prevented the Jews from being killed.
- Daniel and his three friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego refused to worship the king of Babylon and instead prayed to the true God. All of their lives were supernaturally spared.
- Jesus was accused by religious leaders for breaking the sabbath.
- The early apostles were commanded not to preach in the name of Jesus. Peter responded in Acts 5:29, “We ought to obey God rather than men.”
Yesterday I exchanged emails with a fellow American who claimed we aren’t living in times of persecution. Baloney! For the past few years, Christian business owners refusing to support homosexual events have been harassed and fined. Lately we’ve had governors and mayors issuing threats against pastors and churchgoers just for having worship services. This goes against the First Amendment of the Constitution, which is the highest law of the land.
God hates rebellion but He is also against cowards tolerating godlessness. 500 years ago, a German priest named Martin Luther opposed corruption by the Roman Catholic Church that resulted in religious freedom for multitudes of people. This same country later allowed an Austrian named Adolf Hitler to gradually take away personal freedoms. Think that can’t happen here in the United States? Bad things happen when good people do nothing.
A future law people should not obey is taking the mark of the beast. As A. W. Tozer once said, “To be right with God has often meant to be in trouble with men.”
But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge.” - Acts 4:19