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Monday, June 17, 2002

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1 Kings 21:1-16
Psalm 5
Matthew 5:38-42

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civil disobedience

"His fellow citizens — the elders and the nobles who dwelt in his city — did as Jezebel had ordered them." —1 Kings 21:11

To get Naboth's property, Jezebel, the queen of Samaria, ordered the elders and nobles of Naboth's city to get two scoundrels to falsely accuse Naboth and then to stone him to death (1 Kgs 21:11ff). Many people obeyed Jezebel and thereby participated in Naboth being murdered.

When Jesus was crucified, many people obeyed orders from Pontius Pilate and the religious leaders. Thus, they "did the dirty work" of putting God to death.

Throughout history, masses of people, who think nothing of disobeying God, slavishly obey one wicked, perverted tyrant after another. The Nuremberg trials were one of the better known condemnations of those who obeyed authorities whose orders were contrary to God's will, truth, and justice.

The early Church faced this problem, and their conclusion was: "Better for us to obey God than men!" (Acts 5:29) The present Church also has this challenge. This is obvious in areas where the Church is being persecuted, even unto martyrdom. Yet also in the more subtle circumstances of our secular humanistic society, God is calling us through our consciences to obey Him and disobey the governments in our culture of death.

Pray for a well-formed conscience and the courage to obey God by disobeying any authority contrary to Him.

Prayer:  Father, give me discernment and a willingness to die for the truth (see Sir 4:28).

Promise:  "But what I say to you is: offer no resistance to injury. When a person strikes you on the right cheek, turn and offer him the other." —Mt 5:39

Praise:  Refusing to obey the silence imposed by the Chinese Communist government, Cindy continues to spread God's Word.

Reference:  (For information or to register for any or all of our summer Discipleship Retreats, June 29 to July 20, call 937-587-5464 or e-mail retreats@presentationministries.com)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, December 4, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 10, 2001