Today’s Scripture: And I heard a voice saying unto me, Arise, Peter; slay and eat. But I said, Not so, Lord: for nothing common or unclean hath at any time entered into my mouth. But the voice answered me again from heaven, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. And this was done three times: and all were drawn up again into heaven. Acts 11:7-10
I believe one of the reasons there are so many stories of Peter in Scripture is that we are more like him than we often want to admit. Peter was unafraid to let his opinion be known – even when he should have kept his mouth shut. At other times, he made bold professions of faith. He was someone who was willing to step out in faith, but also someone who failed. Despite his shortcomings, he was used greatly by God, and that should give us hope.
One story that shows a fault we all have is found in Acts 11. Peter saw a vision with a giant sheet filled with animals that were not part of the Jewish dietary system. He heard a voice saying, “Arise, Peter; slay and eat.”
Peter’s response was, “Not so, Lord: for nothing common or unclean hath at any time entered into my mouth.”
God answered, “What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.” This occurred three times.
Although Peter knew it was the Lord speaking, He told God, “No,” and offered an excuse. God rejected his excuse because what He had said was right. Peter had earlier rebuked Christ in Matthew 16:22 when Jesus told him he would be put to death.
Jesus rebuked Peter by saying, “Get thee behind me, Satan.” Twice we are told of Peter directly contradicting God’s words.
How many times are we commanded to do something, but we respond with a “Not so, Lord.” We act like we know better than God. Even the phrase “Not so, Lord” doesn’t make sense. We are telling the one whom we acknowledge has the right to tell us what to do, “No.”
Let’s not argue with the One Who made the universe. Instead, when God gives us a command, let’s respond with “Yes, Lord,” and do it.
Devotional by Jim Scudder Jr.