Making the Right Choice

God or Men?This is a crazy true story. It sounds like ones I’ve heard from Eastern Europe during the time of communist oppression.

The minister and his family were innocent. The young general had told him he was on an errand for the ruling authority. He was just doing the royal magistrate’s official business. So, of course, the minister gave him the requested provisions: a bit of food and a weapon that happened to be at hand. It was the only logical choice. After, all, how could he know the story wasn’t true?

So, when the minister and his family were dragged before the authorities, he could honestly say he didn’t know. He had no inkling the report wasn’t completely truthful. But the magistrate would have none of it. The ruler refused to listen to the pleas of innocence. Instead, he pronounced his judgment: death for the minister and his entire family.

That’s kind of a scary scenario. But it’s true. I’m not making up this story.

Fortunately, those who were tasked with the execution refused. They were not about to lift their hands to kill those who were ambassadors of God. They defied the official decree and stood down.

Actually the story I just shared is from the Old Testament. It’s about King Saul, David and Ahimelech the priest. The complete story can be found in 1 Samuel 21:1-9 and 22:11-17.

But I love that Saul’s servants refused to kill Ahimelech and family. “The servants of the king would not put out their hand to strike the priests of the Lord.” (1 Samuel 22:17-18) This reminds me of a New Testament story in the book of Acts. The religious leaders were upset that the apostles had gained so much notoriety, so they had them arrested. When the high priest told them to stop preaching in Jesus’ name, Peter responded, “We must obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29)

Our actions and reactions should proceed out of our love of God. Like the Lord’s people in the Bible, we must seek God’s wisdom in choosing the right and godly actions to the situations in our lives. That will be very difficult to do with the bigger issues if we have compromised on smaller ones along the way.

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