Todays readings.. Deuteronomy 27, Song of Solomon 7, Acts 23&24
Our readings in Acts (23 & 24) describe events when Paul is arrested at Jerusalem, as the prophets among the believers had been inspired to predict. Paul takes advantage of the disagreement among his accusers, the Pharisees and Sadducees, to cause dissension among them. (23 v.7). More than 40 plot to lay an ambush and kill Paul. This plot is overheard by Paul’s sister’s son (which seems to indicate that family members were involved in supporting him). The son reports the plot to the Roman tribune and as a result Paul is sent by night under guard to Caesarea to the Roman Governor Felix.
Paul is pleased, when brought before him, because Felix has been “for many years … a judge over this nation” [24 v.10] and has “a rather accurate knowledge” [v.22] of the Christian “way.” In his defence Paul makes the point that “there will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust. So I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man.” [v.15,16] This is a message which we must take to heart ourselves; the unjust will also be called to account at that incredible time of divine intervention in the affairs of men which is surely not far ahead. Remember Jesus said, “Whoever is not with me is against me” [Matt. 12 v.30]
This is a message we must not fail to take to heart; there is no neutral position, the unjust will also be called to account. How many examine their consciences these days. Yes, we all consider our aims and priorities in life and make decisions as to whether God is part of them or not! To ignore God is to make a decision.
It is interesting that the wife of Felix is a Jewess and they “sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus. And as he reasoned about righteousness and self-control and the coming judgement, Felix was alarmed …” [v.24,25] How parallel is this today! Some are intrigued by the message of the Bible but are unable to make a commitment. Are any readers of our thoughts in this situation? Remember how “Elijah came near to all the people and said ‘How long will you go limping between two different opinions?” [1 Kings 18 v.21] Do you believe in the true God or don’t you? And if you do believe, have acted on that belief? It is wonderful if you have and are working towards having the same dedication as Paul.