Then they went to the chief priests and elders and said, ‘We have taken a solemn vow together not to eat a thing until we have killed Paul. Now then, you and the Council send word to the Roman commander to bring Paul down to you, pretending that you want to get more accurate information about him. But we will be ready to kill him before he ever gets here.’
But the son of Paul’s sister heard about the plot; so he went to the fort and told Paul. (verses 14-16)
Read Acts 23: 12-24
Here we have God-fearing Jews vowing in the Lord’s name to kill Paul, a messenger of the Lord. Too often people have killed ‘in the Lord’s name’. For example, in the Middle Ages many well meaning Christians went to the holy lands to kill Muslim men, women and children in the Lord’s name, and they supposed they were doing it with God’s blessing!
With the best of intentions we try to tell God who should die and who should live. Yet, if we were to listen carefully to his word, we would hear that we are not to kill or condemn but bring peace and forgiveness. We are not to seek revenge by our own hand. Instead, we are to hand back to the Lord any revenge that needs to be carried out.
Thank God that he protected his messenger Paul, and many others like him, so that we could hear his message of peace and forgiveness in the name of Jesus. May this message of life in his name be protected and spoken today despite the world’s apparent need to resort to violence, death and revenge.
Dear Lord, help me not to misuse your name by cursing, swearing or lying but to eagerly use it in prayer, praise and thanksgiving. Amen.
by Stuart Kleinig, in ‘Guidance for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 2002)
Visit the Daily Devotion archives page.