March 9, 2023
The Bible Edge
Everyone needs an Edge, Believers can have the Bible Edge
And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought:
Let them alone! That is what Gamaliel recommended and it was good advice. He followed his recommendation with good sound logic. If this work is of men it will come to nothing. But in the next verse of the Bible, he said, But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God. So, let them alone. To which the religious council agreed; but before they let them go they beat them and commanded them not to speak in the name of Jesus. They did “let them alone” (for a time) but not before they inflicted pain and threats.
May we do the same, without inflicting pain and threats, to those with which we disagree. In Matthew 15:14 Jesus told His disciples exactly how to deal with the Pharisees. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind…. In the parable of the tares and wheat Jesus taught to let both grow until the harvest. (Matthew 13:30) At harvest time the tares and the wheat will be separated, the tares burned and the wheat put in the barn. In defense of Mary that anointed the Lord with precious ointment, washed His feet with her tears, and dried His feet with her hair, Jesus said: Let her alone… (John 12:7)
Concerning this thing of Let them alone the New Testament tells us in no uncertain terms that sometimes we must. In Romans 16:17 we are told: Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. John wrote: If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: (2 John 1:10). Concerning those who are called brother but are involved in known and open sin we are told not to keep company with them (I Corinthians 5:11). On and on we could go.
Suffice it to say there are times that believers in Jesus Christ would do well to follow Gamaliel’s advice and simply Let them alone. God through Christ will in His due time deal with His enemies. But, frankly, emotionally, physically, and socially, this is sometimes very difficult. Perhaps a fitting story to end today’s thought would be nice.
In II Samuel King David’s enemy, Shimei, cursed the king, threw stones at him, and cast dust in the air causing an uproar. David’s men, especially Abishai, wanted to literally cut off Shimei’s head. To which David relayed that the man’s behavior toward him could have been of the Lord so let him alone. But the King also said, It may be that the LORD will look on mine affliction, and that the LORD will requite me good for his cursing this day. (2 Samuel 16:12)
It could be that your enemy’s treatment of you is of the Lord to put you in a place to receive good from that awful treatment. The Bible Edge for today is: Let them alone. By doing so you may receive good of the Lord and no doubt they will experience Romans 12:19: Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Now, that’s an edge, a Bible Edge!
William Howe, Ph.D.