Who was I to think that I could oppose God? (Acts 11:17)


SURELY PETER THOUGHT he was losing his mind—or God was! Eat unclean animals? No! He would never! Peter was safeguarding the covenant mandates. His theology was sure and pure. He was Jewish, and Jews didn’t eat unclean animals and disrespect God’s commands in such a flagrant way. So was he dreaming, or was it really a vision from God? But then, how could it be?

What Peter wasn’t prepared for was for God to do something new. Peter could never have predicted that God would include the heathen Gentiles in His all-encompassing love. Peter, being a good Jew, thought God loved the Jews and only the Jews. The Gentiles would all perish for not believing in Yahweh and His covenant. Peter, who had seen Jesus eat with sinners and exclude no one, had not yet grasped Jesus’ universal love.

But, to his credit, Peter chose to remain open, to recall Pentecost and how the Spirit had fallen on all people. Peter said, “So if God gave them the same gift he gave us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could oppose God?” (11:17). Oh, that more of God’s people could allow God to work as He chooses rather than hanging on to their rock-solid theology when God is moving on to do something new.

Keep expecting God to do something new in you.

Kathy Bence lives in Idaho with her professor husband, Phil.