Therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I am bringing punishment on the king of Babylon and his land, as I punished the king of Assyria. I will restore Israel to his pasture, […] for I will pardon those whom I leave as a remnant.
But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.
Acts 5 is an amazing story of God’s protection and sovereign power as He sends his angel to free the apostles from prison. They were put in prison by the High Priest because he was enraged that the Apostles continued to preach in the name of Jesus…and the people were actually listening!
Imagine the surprise and humiliation of the High Priest and his council when they sent for the prisoners only to find them missing! And where were these Apostles? In the temple, teaching about the resurrected Christ!
As my 10-year-old would say… “Boom! In Your Face.” The power of the Jewish council was nothing in the face of God’s power and will. Their persecution would only serve to strengthen the church. Nothing could stand in God’s way.
As the Apostles stood before the Jewish council, the council was enraged at their boldness – so much that they wanted to kill them! But a practical Pharisee addressed his peers…
So in the present case I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or this undertaking is of man, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God! (Acts 5:38-39)
This is truth! The ways of men are like a shadow, but the ways of God are sure and strong!
Think of Jeremiah as he boldly prophesied against the powerful nations of his day. Imagine what Nebuchadnezzar might have thought of Jeremiah’s prophecies against his mighty Babylon (Jer. 50), the most powerful nation of its day… I think Nebuchadnezzar would have laughed.
But do you know what exists of ancient Babylon today?? Nothing. It is an uninhabited ruin.* God’s ways are sure and strong. He always gets the last laugh.
*ESV Study Bible, note on Jer. 50:39-40, Crossway Publishers