Happy Friday, my bloggy friends! Have you been in suspense of what Paul will do today? Have you been thinking about what you would do if put in the same situation?
I don't know about you, but when I'm rejected by a person or a group, (let alone have them yelling "do away with her") I usually become very insecure and throw myself into the nearest pity party. In light of this, I doubt that I would have the courage to say anything to the crowd.
I also wondered if I would be so frightened about what terrible things they may do to me, that I would try to state my case. Would I try to convince them that they should set me free? I would like to say that I wouldn't, but would I compromise my beliefs in order to live?
In Acts chapter 22, Paul does neither. He speaks in Hebrew which makes the crowd silence and GIVES HIS TESTIMONY! He tells them what God has done in his life. He tells them how God brought him from killing and imprisoning Christians, to being one. He shares his God-given mission. What faith - what boldness - what courage! You go, Paul!!!
Their response - "Away with such a fellow from the earth! For he should not be allowed to live!"
Even in Paul's boldness, their hearts were still hard. They tied him down and prepared for his flogging when he informed them that he was a Roman citizen and it was unlawful for them to do so. They withdrew immediately and on the next day, they unbound him and set him before the chief priests and the council to find out why he was being accused by the Jews.
This was a great reminder to me that when we are obeying God, it doesn't mean that others are going to "get it". Paul's faith and perserverance is amazing but it still didn't change the hearts of the crowd. He didn't fail, he didn't do anything wrong - it was their choice to reject the message.
We shouldn't take other's reactions so personally - we must have the courage to obey God's calling and be well content with just pleasing Him, irregardless, of the responses around us.
Have a great day and a great Labor Day weekend