Thought for Thursday

The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day; it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed. John 5:10

There is a law in the province of New Brunswick that forbids deer hunting on Sundays, even during the regular hunting season. That law has been on the books for a long time. I remember a similar law being in effect in Nova Scotia when I was a boy. I remember my mother objecting very strongly when my father was tempted to go hunting with some of the neighbours on a Sunday. Most people back then felt it was proper to honour the Lord’s Day enough to not shoot deer. But that attitude is changing. There is a strong push on to have that law abolished, as many feel the restriction is unwarranted and irrelevant. I could argue against that case, just as I could argue against the Jews’ law against carrying beds on the sabbath. The law the Jews were citing was one of their own inventions. The man who was breaking it was obeying a higher law. That’s what we should always do.

We laugh at some nonsensical laws that we hear of, such as England’s prohibition on the door-to-door sale of squirrels. But some of the foolish laws that are appearing actually have serious consequences for those of us who are required to obey God rather than man. Society’s radical swing to wide-open acceptance and promotion of vile lifestyles includes some laws that are forcing Christians to make some painful and expensive decisions. Their faithfulness to the Word of God means some of them have to give up jobs, or move to new areas, or abandon valuable possessions. The disciples’ statement that we ought to obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29) takes on real meaning in such cases. Make no mistake, many more of us are going to have to make that same choice in the coming days.

The impotent man who was healed had received a direct command from the Lord Jesus. As he carried out that simple command, he was accosted by men who were more interested in his behaviour than in his healing. It didn’t matter that only minutes before, this man was unable to get off his bed, let alone carry it. They had their little agenda and it must be followed, and if it challenged Jesus of Nazareth, so much the better. Enemies who are gathering around us these days have the same selfish agenda and the same hatred of the Lord Jesus. Consider those, for example, who are trying to have the Bible banned from public sale because of its condemnation of homosexuality. Will it happen in our lifetime? What about other laws that seek to make a mockery and crime of decency and morality? It’s all possible.

Carrying our beds could soon prove costly. How willing are we to suffer for obeying our Lord? How soon will we find out? – Jim MacIntosh

Leave a Reply