Sunday School lesson
January 31, 2021 San Francisco, Philippines
“Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime” (Daniel 6:10).
“And all the king’s servants, that were in the king’s gate, bowed and reverenced Haman: for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence” (Esther 3:2).
Mordecai understood duty to God came first. And this “reverence” he was required to grant Haman, was more than just a way of honoring him, but amounted to giving him worship. He could honor the king and those whom the king placed in charge, but worship them, never. Gods’ law has precedence over all of man’s laws. Any law which violates God’s Law is an unlawful decree or statute and must be resisted and opposed.
“If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O King. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up” (Daniel 3:17-18).
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego understood their duty and service to God, even if death was the result. No earthly power has lawful authority to sever this bond between man and God.
“Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? … Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:28-29). The apostles, many in the early Church, and millions of Christians down through the ages have been martyred because their first allegiance was to God, whose law reigns supreme.
How do these accounts and examples apply to us when we face unjust laws and edicts? What should our response be?
Providing for your family, as commanded by God.
There are hundreds of verses in Scripture dealing with work/s, here are nine.
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (II Tim. 3:16-17). “In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity” (Titus 2:7). “Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth” (Eph. 4:28). “And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing” (I Thess. 4:11-12). “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command…that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread” (II Thess. 3:10- 12). “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel” (I Tim. 5:8).
Christians are commanded to work, not only to labor to provide for the needs of their family, but for others. How should Christian business owners react to orders from the government to close or shut down their business, or limit the number of customers, they serve?
When the government orders your business to close, how can you provide for your family as commanded by God? Are you going to adhere to the commandments of God, or bow down to unlawful edicts of man, no matter if it comes from the mayor or president?
Christians should have been in the forefront concerning this scam/planned-demic from the very first! As soon as lockdowns of businesses were lunched, every business headed or owned by a Christian, had the duty to tell those who issued those unlawful edicts, to cram those sham proclamations in a place where the sun never shines. That goes double for pastors of Churches who were ordered to close their doors and limit the number of worshipers who could attend. In the USA, in the Christians arsenal of God-given rights, there is another arrow in their quiver, the First Amendment, which reads in part: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” This same protection is found in Article III, Section 5. of The Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines: No law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. Working is a God- given commandment, a right, and exercising/practicing one’s religion, which cannot be prohibited by any order of government!
The Christian Covenant is Entered with Baptism Romans 6:4-6; Col. 2:11-12
For an Israelite male, circumcision was a sign that one had entered into the covenant. The word Covenant means a league, compact, or confederacy – contract. The term covenant is applied to various transactions between God and man. Properly speaking, a covenant is a compact between man and man or between tribes or nations in which each party binds itself to fulfill certain conditions, which give advantages or benefits to each party. However, man is incapable of being an independent covenanting party with God, so that it is not a strictly mutual agreement, but is a promise on the part of God to arrange His providences for the benefit and welfare of those who render obedience or service to Him.
When someone becomes a Christian (born-again) they have entered into new life. And part of that process is baptism, which is the New Testament circumcision. A sign that one has made a Covenant with the Lord Jesus. In essence, a contract to honor all of God’s commandments and teachings.
Article III, SECTION 10. of the Philippine Constitution states: No law impairing the obligation of contracts shall be passed. Ordering the closings of Christian businesses or Churches is a violation of this law. Our duty to gather together and to work.
I will not say much to pastors or ministers dealing with lockdowns and orders to close their Churches. I will let the actions of my brother-in-law, a pastor (in the Philippines), show you the way. When he was ordered to close his church, he went to the mayor and told him he would not shut nor close it. He could have been arrested, maybe fined, but he knew whose authority he’s under, and who’s in charge. And if he found himself in jail, a new congregation would await him.
If we don’t exercise, assert, and maintain our rights, we don’t have any. For our protection when we assert our rights:
Philippine Constitution, Article III, SECTION 12. (2) No torture, force, violence, threat, intimidation, or any other means which vitiate the free will shall be used against him. Secret detention places, solitary, incommunicado, or other similar forms of detention are prohibited.
In the summer of 1776, Benjamin Franklin issued this famous warning after signing the Declaration of Independence. “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.” Those delegates that attended the Second Continental Congress, who signed that document, were committing treason, and the penalty was death. Unity was essential to achieving victory in the Revolutionary War.
The unlawful closing of businesses and Churches must be resisted. Christians must band together, or, as Benjamin Franklin stated, sooner or later, we will all hang separately.