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Sunday, June 2, 2013

God Wins All Wrestling Matches

God wins all wrestling Matches, Obeying Laws, Romans 13:1-5, Acts 4
  • Location: Communist Czechoslovakia, 1980, on a tour with some girlfriends 
  • Situation: I ran out of money on Sunday when banks were closed. 
  • Possible solution: Black-market money-changers were everywhere even though this was explicitly forbidden by international law. 
  • My thoughts: My $2 worth of Korunas wouldn't pay for supper, no legal exchange available, everyone was doing it, and black-market rates were more fair. 
  • Solution #1: I bought black-market money from our tour guide, getting twice as many Korunas as the legal rate. 
  • Wrestling: God and I wrestled...all afternoon....me telling Him I had no choice...Him telling me that the bank law didn't violate His Law, so I needed to obey (Romans 13:1-6).
  • Solution #2: I returned the black-market money and prayed my $2 would be enough. A friend (who knew nothing about my situation) surprised us by buying our supper, and my $2 worth of Korunas was a great tip for the waiter. 

35 years later, I'm still learning that God wins all wrestling matches.

How are we supposed to respond to unfair, unjust, or stupid rules from authority, especially when dealing with ungodly, oppressive systems like Communism? As always, we can trust God's Word to guide us.

When you combine the messages of the verses below, what do you learn? This isn't as straight-forward as some answers in Scripture, but there are some clear guidelines just-the-same. Please read through these verses and thoughtfully ponder and pray about the overall message. Then, if you still have questions, read this very thorough Biblical explanation of Biblical civil disobedience. But please do your own study first.  When is civil disobedience allowed for a Christian?

After you work through this study, please check out my insights HERE. I want to share something I did on that same trip to Czechoslovakia that was illegal but right.

Bible Study

I'm on the left in the photo taken on this 1980 tour to Prague
Romans 13:1-6: Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 
2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. 6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing.

1 Peter 2:13-17:  Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. 16 Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. 17 Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.

1 Timothy 2:1-4: I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

An angel releases Peter from prison (BPG)
Acts 5:27-32:  The apostles were brought in and made to appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. 28 “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.”29 Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings! 30 The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead—whom you killed by hanging him on a cross. 31 God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins. 32 We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”

For additional study: ♥Acts 4: 1-22  & ♥Matthew 22:15-22

copyright 2013, Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com 
All Scripture NIV unless otherwise noted

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