Saturday, October 15, 2016

Acts 9:1-2 (KJV) Our First Line of Defense

Acts 9:1-2 (KJV)
And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.
When the chief priests and rulers in Israel wanted to execute Jesus, they took Him to Pilate, yielding authority to put a man to death to the Roman occupiers. Though Pilate eventually washed his hands of the matter and allowed the priests their will, this surrender of authority provides a small degree of civility to the region. Rome considered itself a civilized nation and at least pretended to bring that civilization to those people they ruled.
But then there are examples of Jewish usurpation of this authority:
The stoning of StephenNo one appealed to Rome for authorization for that. No one that we know of was held accountable for it. Perhaps the authority the Jews sought in Jesus’ case was that public humiliation of Roman crucifixion. Perhaps they didn’t want to do something so base just prior to the Passover. I think they had no authority to kill either Jesus or Stephen and in both cases the Romans simply washed their hands of it.
The threatening of SaulSaul of Tarsus did not go to Rome, but to the high priest for letters of authority to round up Christians for persecution. Whether he should have gotten that authority from Rome or not it is clear he did not need it. Rome seems to have washed her hands of this too.
The appeal of the Christian for deliverance and help must go to God and not the government because, even when the government isn’t the agency persecuting Christians, governments are quicker to wash their hands of the matter than to lend real help in the matter.
Of course we ought to use any legal means at our disposal, but our first line of defense and our total dependence must be to the Lord.

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Acts 9:1-2 (KJV) Our First Line of Defense

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