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A Bible Study of The Scripture

Lesson 6 - Does God's Word command us to obedience in all cases? (Part 2)

Does God's Word command us to obedience in all cases? (Question 3 Part 2))

A continuation of Biblical examples of disobedience to magistrates that received God's Blessing concerning the third question:

Daniel 3:1-7, 12-18 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refuse to bow to state ordered religion.

The king or the state should not establish a false religion. The people should resist if they do. These men loved God so much they risked their lives to bow to God and not Nebuchadnezzar.

Verse

King James Version

Today's New International Version

1

Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.

King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide, and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon.

2

Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent to gather together the princes, the governors, and the captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.

He then summoned the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials to come to the dedication of the image he had set up.

3

Then the princes, the governors, and captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, were gathered together unto the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

So the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials assembled for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up, and they stood before it.

4

Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages,

Then the herald loudly proclaimed, "Nations and peoples of every language, this is what you are commanded to do:

5

That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up:

As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up.

6

And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.

Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace."

7

Therefore at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and all kinds of musick, all the people, the nations, and the languages, fell down and worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.

Therefore, as soon as they heard the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp and all kinds of music, all the nations and peoples of every language fell down and worshiped the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

12

There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—who pay no attention to you, Your Majesty. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up."

13

Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king.

Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king,

14

Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up?

and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, "Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up?

15

Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?

Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?"

16

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, "King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter.

17

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.

If the God we serve is able to deliver us, then he will deliver us from the blazing furnace and from Your Majesty's hand.

18

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.

But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up."

Daniel 6:6-11, 16-17 Daniel refuses to bow to state ordered religion.

Prayer is an individual freedom. It should not be sanctioned by the state or forbidden. It should be left up to individuals.

Verse

King James Version

The Message

6

Then these presidents and princes assembled together to the king, and said thus unto him, King Darius, live for ever.

The vice-regents and governors conspired together and then went to the king and said, "King Darius, live forever!

7

All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions.

We've convened your vice-regents, governors, and all your leading officials, and have agreed that the king should issue the following decree:  For the next thirty days no one is to pray to any god or mortal except you, O king. Anyone who disobeys will be thrown into the lions' den.

8

Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not.

"Issue this decree, O king, and make it unconditional, as if written in stone like all the laws of the Medes and the Persians."

9

Wherefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree.

King Darius signed the decree.

10

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.

When Daniel learned that the decree had been signed and posted, he continued to pray just as he had always done. His house had windows in the upstairs that opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he knelt there in prayer, thanking and praising his God.

11

Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.

The conspirators came and found him praying, asking God for help.

12

Then they came near, and spake before the king concerning the king's decree; Hast thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask a petition of any God or man within thirty days, save of thee, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions? The king answered and said, The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not.

They went straight to the king and reminded him of the royal decree that he had signed. "Did you not," they said, "sign a decree forbidding anyone to pray to any god or man except you for the next thirty days? And anyone caught doing it would be thrown into the lions' den?" "Absolutely," said the king. "Written in stone, like all the laws of the Medes and Persians."

16

16Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.

 16 The king caved in and ordered Daniel brought and thrown into the lions' den. But he said to Daniel, "Your God, to whom you are so loyal, is going to get you out of this."

17

And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel.

A stone slab was placed over the opening of the den. The king sealed the cover with his signet ring and the signet rings of all his nobles, fixing Daniel's fate.

Acts 5:27-29 Disciples defy authorities and continue preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ

In Acts 4:18 Peter and John are commanded by the Sadducees and council, "not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus." They defy this command and are arrested, placed in jail where an Angel liberates them. Returning to preaching they are taken before the council.  The apostles response was," We ought to Obey God rather than men."

Verse

King James Version

New International Version (NIV)

27

And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them,

The apostles were brought in and made to appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest.

28

28Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man's blood upon us.

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

Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

Peter and the other apostles replied: "We must obey God rather than human beings!

Matthew 2:8-15 Wise men disobey Herod as instructed by God.

Wise men were ordered by king Herod to return and report the location of Jesus to him. God warned them in a dream to disobey King Herod. Unlike the previous examples the Wise men were not instructed to do something specifically against the commandments of God. But God intervened and commanded them to disobey the magistrate.

Verse

King James Version

New Living Translation

8

And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.

Then he told them, "Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. And when you find him, come back and tell me so that I can go and worship him, too!"

9

When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.

After this interview the wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was.

10

When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

When they saw the star, they were filled with joy!

11

And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.

They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

12

And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

When it was time to leave, they returned to their own country by another route, for God had warned them in a dream not to return to Herod.

2 Chronicles 26:16-21 King Uzziah tried to burn incense in the temple.

King Uzziah, a successful king decided he would burn incense in the Temple. Azariah and 40 priests opposed Uzziah. God sided with the priests and struck Uzziah down with leprosy. Once again Azariah and the 40 priests were not directly ordered by the king to commit an unGodly act, they acted to prevent one.

Verse

King James Version

Holman Christian Standard Bible

16

But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God, and went into the temple of the LORD to burn incense upon the altar of incense.

But when he became strong, he grew arrogant and it led to his own destruction. He acted unfaithfully against the LORD his God by going into the LORD's sanctuary to burn incense on the incense altar.

17

And Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him fourscore priests of the LORD, that were valiant men:

Azariah the priest, along with 80 brave priests of the LORD, went in after him.

18

And they withstood Uzziah the king, and said unto him, It appertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense unto the LORD, but to the priests the sons of Aaron, that are consecrated to burn incense: go out of the sanctuary; for thou hast trespassed; neither shall it be for thine honour from the LORD God.

They took their stand against King Uzziah and said, "Uzziah, you have no right to offer incense to the LORD —only the consecrated priests, the descendants of Aaron, have the right to offer incense. Leave the sanctuary, for you have acted unfaithfully! You will not receive honor from the LORD God."

19

Then Uzziah was wroth, and had a censer in his hand to burn incense: and while he was wroth with the priests, the leprosy even rose up in his forehead before the priests in the house of the LORD, from beside the incense altar.

Uzziah, with a censer in his hand to offer incense, was enraged. But when he became enraged with the priests, in the presence of the priests in the LORD's temple beside the altar of incense, a skin disease broke out on his forehead.

20

And Azariah the chief priest, and all the priests, looked upon him, and, behold, he was leprous in his forehead, and they thrust him out from thence; yea, himself hasted also to go out, because the LORD had smitten him.

Then Azariah the chief priest and all the priests turned to him and saw that he was diseased on his forehead. They rushed him out of there. He himself also hurried to get out because the LORD had afflicted him.

21

And Uzziah the king was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several house, being a leper; for he was cut off from the house of the LORD: and Jotham his son was over the king's house, judging the people of the land.

So King Uzziah was diseased to the time of his death. He lived in quarantine [a] with a serious skin disease and was excluded from access to the LORD's temple, while his son Jotham was over the king's household governing the people of the land.


Esther breaks Persian law that could draw a death sentence

Knowing that a plot was in process to murder all of the Jews in Persia, Esther violates the Persian law concerning entering the king's court which could result in a death sentence. This act of civil disobedience was not done after being ordered to commit an unGodly act by her governing authorities, but to prevent one.

Chapter Verse

King James Version

Holman Christian Standard Bible

4:11

All the king's servants, and the people of the king's provinces, do know, that whosoever, whether man or women, shall come unto the king into the inner court, who is not called, there is one law of his to put him to death, except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden sceptre, that he may live: but I have not been called to come in unto the king these thirty days.

All the royal officials and the people of the royal provinces know that one law applies to every man or woman who approaches the king in the inner courtyard and who has not been summoned—the death penalty. Only if the king extends the gold scepter will that person live. I have not been summoned to appear before the king for the last 30 days."

5:1

Now it came to pass on the third day, that Esther put on her royal apparel, and stood in the inner court of the king's house, over against the king's house: and the king sat upon his royal throne in the royal house, over against the gate of the house.

On the third day, Esther dressed up in her royal clothing and stood in the inner courtyard of the palace facing it. The king was sitting on his royal throne in the royal courtroom, facing its entrance. 2

5:2

And it was so, when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, that she obtained favour in his sight: and the king held out to Esther the golden sceptre that was in his hand. So Esther drew near, and touched the top of the sceptre.

As soon as the king saw Queen Esther standing in the courtyard, she won his approval. The king extended the gold scepter in his hand toward Esther, and she approached and touched the tip of the scepter.

Conclusion:

There are certainly examples of civil disobedience in the Scripture that received God's Blessing. In the example of the Hebrew midwives and Rehab they received God's Blessing even after telling a lie.

Thus any interpretation of Romans 13:1-7 that concludes obedience in all cases is incorrect. Other examples also demonstrate clearly that disobedience to a command to do something contrary to the Word of God has received God's Blessing.

The examples of Esther and Azariah demonstrate God's Blessing on disobedience to authorities or prevailing law that is committed to prevent an action contrary to God's Word. The modern day interpretations of Romans 13:1-7 would define such actions as in disobedience to God. The modern day interpretations are either incomplete or incorrect.

Next week we will move on to the fourth question:

Based upon these modern interpretations our country would have been founded in disobedience to God. Did our Founding Fathers deliberately violate God's Word?

For those who would like to look ahead we will cover briefly three historical documents; Fairfax Resolves, Give Me Liberty speech by Patrick Henry and the Declaration of Independence.

Next: Lesson 7 - Did our Founding Fathers deliberately violate God's Word?