Act 4:19-22 “But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done. For the man was above forty years old, on whom this miracle of healing was shewed.”
We are faced many times in life with making the right decision. We need to make the right decision about how to study in school. Our stress level goes up as we contemplate what sport or activity we might excel at. At some point, most of us choose a mate that we hope will be for life.
These are just a few of the decisions we face in life, and they do start early. Something else that needs to start early is encouraging our children and one another to look to the right source for direction in our decision making. All too often, our decisions come down to what we think we want the most or what will serve self the best. Too late, we realize that none of those things or important in finding true joy.
The religious rulers in Jerusalem had just commanded Peter and John (and warned the lame man that was healed) to never speak in the name of Jesus again. In their minds, they were walking a tight rope. On the one hand was their need to put a stop to this doctrine of the resurrection of Jesus lest their lies be exposed. On the other hand, they could not deal to harshly with Peter, John, and the man that was healed because they were afraid that public opinion would turn against them.
I am sure these religious leaders of the Jews intended that Peter and John think they were being shown mercy with being let off with a warning. However, Peter had learned what it was like not to make the best decisions. As religious leaders, he also knew these men could not deny the existence of God no matter how much they tried to deny that Jesus was the Messiah. Instead of going meekly on his way, Peter laid the truth before them.
The true measure of our decisions always come down to this: is it right in the sight of God? On the surface, many things might seem like a good idea. Perhaps we cannot see any harm in missing church this Sunday because we have been given tickets to the ballgame. We need to judge whether it is right in the sight of God.
Perhaps we have set our sights on the most attractive person we have ever seen. Our minds are made up that this is the right choice for us, but did we seek God’s guidance first? Even though there were little “warning bells” going off about going in debt for that shiny new car, we did it anyway. Did we seek God to see whether it be right?
Our actions and decisions speak more about whether we seek to know if things are right in the sight of God than our words ever will. When Peter said they could only speak the things that they had seen and heard by the power of God, he was not saying it was physically impossible for them to do something else. Instead, it was a declaration that they had already determined that it was better to please God than to please themselves or others. Even though they were threatened and released, these men never relented in looking to God to know what was right for their lives.
May God grant us the courage to base our decisions and actions on whether it be right in His holy sight!