Biting Off more than You can Chew
July 6, 2010 • By Ed Wrather
When they heard this, they were furious and plotted to kill them. Then one in the council stood up, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law held in respect by all the people, and commanded them to put the apostles outside for a little while. And he said to them: “Men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what you intend to do regarding these men…And now I say to you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing; but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it - lest you even be found to fight against God.” - Acts 5:33-35; 38-39 NKJV.
Whatever one is, he has been named already, for it is known that he is man; and he cannot contend with Him who is mightier than he. - Ecclesiastes 6:10 NKJV.
In the swamps of Florida, there is a growing population of Burmese pythons. One of those pythons that was 13-foot long happened one day to see a tasty morsel in the form of a 6-foot long alligator. The python proceeded to swallow the whole alligator, but alas for the python the alligator did not go quietly into the night. No, the alligator inside of that python scratched, and bit, and fought until the side of the snake burst open. However, the alligator still died, but the python died too. A University of Florida wildlife professor says that, “Encounters like that are almost never seen in the wild.” Of course, the moral of the story is this: never bite off more than you can chew!
Gamaliel had some very good advice for the Sanhedrin. He shared with them some illustrations of previous movements led by men that had faded away. There was Theudas, and there was Judas of Galilee, but they all came to nothing. His advice was that the council should be careful, and not oppose that which was of God. In other words, don't bite off more than you can chew by fighting against God. That is the same advice the preacher of Ecclesiastes has for mankind as he says “he cannot contend with Him who is mightier than he.” The One who is mightier is God.
Are you one of those people who are fighting against God? Many are fighting against God by refusing to acknowledge His existence. Some are fighting against God by refusing to believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior. Some fight against God by refusing to assemble with other believers, some fight by refusing to pray, or by refusing to read God's Word, or by refusing to serve Him in any meaningful way, or by refusing to give to support God's work on this earth. Many are in rebellion against God, and that is a sin which the Bible puts on the same level as witchcraft (1 Samuel 15:23). God cannot bless a life that is in rebellion against Him.
The apostle Paul says this in 2 Corinthians 5:9-11a, “Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men….” Paul says, “Knowing…the terror of the Lord.” Do you not have any fear of God? Some day you will stand before Him. If you know Jesus as your Savior, you will stand before Him at the “judgment seat of Christ.” That judgment is for the determination of rewards, and not of eternal destination. If you have never received Jesus as your Savior you will stand before God at the Great White Throne, and when your name is not found to be recorded in the Lamb's Book of Life, you will be judged according to your works. Since you have rejected Jesus as your Savior, you will be cast into hell along with the devil and his demons, because the “wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23a).”
If you have been fighting against God, stop it! You have bitten off more than you can chew!