Summary: Strange as it may sound sometimes we are called to be lawbreakers for God!
Are you prepared to be a lawbreaker? Before you answer that question let’s indulge in a little bit of role~play! If I asked you to take a parcel containing illegal drugs on your next vacation I guess it wouldn’t take too long for you to respond with a very quick and definite “No”! And if I handed you a suspicious looking package for you to take into another country reassuring you the contents were all above board but I couldn’t tell you anymore, your answer might be a maybe if you knew me well and trusted me or another definite “No”! But what would you say if I asked you to smuggle in some Bibles on your next trip to a Communist county? Would you say “No” because it would be against the law of that particular regime? Or would you agree to break the law and take the Bibles in knowing how desperate Christians there are for the Word of God?
I want to share an extract from a dear friend’s e~mail who took the plunge to smuggle Bibles into a country that will remain nameless: “Thank you so much for your prayers. God definitely answered them and has brought us back safe and sound. We arrived with two cases and two pieces of hand luggage. Our cases were slightly over our 20kg limit but we prayed this would not be picked up the other end. We had one case full of aid as was most of the other case. We had two Bibles in our hand luggage each, two Bibles in one case and three in the other. Upon entering the immigration hall for passport inspection we noticed they were x~raying hand luggage. They didn’t do this last time we visited. We both prayed they wouldn’t want to check our bags. We then had to individually go into a booth for passport inspection and to hand in our visas. They asked if I had been here before (no doubt knowing fully well I had) and proceeded to let me in again! Then my husband came through. Then the x~ray machine! No problems ~ both bags through OK”. Praise the Lord! Once we had done this we could see one of our cases on the carousel. We picked it off onto a trolley … this was going swimmingly!
There then seemed to be a long delay and no sign of our other case. We then spotted it on a trolley just outside where they put the cases on the carousel ~ it was with two others. It appeared they had been selected randomly or otherwise. We then saw them put the three cases on the carousel but standing instead of flat as if it was a sign to Customs Officers to stop the people whose cases they were. We began to get a bit hot under the collar and continued praying everything would be OK. We praise God because what happened next we believe was a miracle. Just as our case turned the corner of the carousel, a group of people gathered around that end of it obscuring the view of the Customs Officials. We picked off our case and placed it on our trolley. We decided to get out as fast as we could both feeling like criminals but trying to look normal! Nobody stopped us ~ thank you Jesus. We were later told by a lady from our church of a picture she had of us walking through the Customs Hall surrounded by a ring of Angels facing outwards. God is just so cool isn’t He”.
Perhaps we all would agree that we should be law abiding citizens ~ no pretending we are immune from paying our taxes or obeying the speed limits for us! But sometimes we are called to be lawbreakers, fearing God rather than men. Corrie ten Boom and her family hid Jews from the German death squads rather than obey the law to hand them over to certain death. But interestingly one Aunt struggled over the propriety of using stolen ration cards to feed them! Its not always easy being a Christian and when the laws of the land are ungodly we may have to take a similar stand to Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. And if you are taking Bibles into countries where they would be immediately confiscated maybe you could end up feeling like my friends, criminals for taking the word of God to those desperate for His word in their own language.
2. Taking a Stand
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (lets call them S.M.&A. for short) had broken the law. They faced death in a particularly cruel way ~ no community service at the weekend or a short stay in prison for them! Not even banishment. Oh no, they faced certain death in a very hot fiery furnace. So what was their crime? Nebuchednezzar (lets call him Nebs for short) sums it up in Daniel 3:28 “They trusted in Him (God) and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.”