UV 2785/10000 The Wisdom of Gamaliel
But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God
Act 5 v 39
The wisdom of Gamaliel is a pointer to what all mankind should heed. He analysed in his little speech before the Sanhedrin, the highest council of the Jews how some earlier rebellions against the Jewish faith had failed miserably. Those movements had petered out as it was merely the efforts of man and not inspired of God. He said that if the work of the early apostles like Peter was of man, it would come to naught in due course. But that if it is of God, human authority or power could not overthrow it and they would be fighting a vain battle against God. The words of Gamaliel proved true and prophetic in history for the gospel that began with Jesus and a small band of men prevailed against empires, armies, technological, social, cultural and economic changes globally and right through history. The Greek, Roman, the Caliphate,the Spanish Empire, the British Empire and all other earthly powers have failed while the gospel outlasts these and is sustained. Those who struggle against Jesus and His message are kicking against the thorns or hurting themselves for no reason. The will of God is sovereign and it will prevail and no force on earth can withstand it.
In our earthly sojourn, we too should heed the voice of the Holy Spirit, though often only a gentle whisper and we ought not to resist the Spirit of God. We ought to align our wills with the will and purpose of the Lord. We need to surrender all our thoughts, aspirations, efforts and our struggles to the able hands of Jesus. He who transformed water in six stone jars to the finest of wine is able to transform our lives from within. The glory of God unlike that of man’s is not external glory or greatness but hidden glory or indwelling Shekinah greatness. When we struggle against the will of the Lord, we fail and suffer much needless pain, frustration, failure and agony but when we yield our wills and our desires into His hands, we cannot lose.
Gamaliel weighed the options before the Sanhedrin and heeded the counsel of the Spirit of God speaking from within him. The counsel and work of man is in vain but the counsel and work of the Spirit are fruitful and shall prevail. In all our decision making, we too should weigh the options before us and take the course or action that the Spirit of God counsels us to take. God’s side is always the winning side. We need to ensure all our actions and reactions keep us on the winning side. Instead of kicking against the thorns or doing what seems to us to be the right thing in a particular situation, we need to seek the will of the Lord and go ahead and do it.
Prateep V Philip