Posts Tagged ‘law’

Verse 25: “And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said to the centurion who stood by, “Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman, and uncondemned?””

In the 1979 TV special The Halloween That Almost Wasn’t, Count Dracula (played comically by Judd Hirsch) and the other monsters are trying to stop the Wicked Witch (played equally comically by Mariette Hartley) from leaving his castle; if she doesn’t fly over the moon, there will be no Halloween. The Witch is tired of being seen as ugly and unimportant, and wants to quit. As all the monsters corner her in the hallway and attempt to dogpile her, she causes the lights to go out briefly. Igor (played comically by Henry Gibson) has a stranglehold on her, gloating, “I got her. I got her! Now she’ll never get away!” As they all get up, the caped figure turns out to be a snarling Count Dracula, with Igor meekly saying, “She got away.” The look and reaction on their faces is the typical screwball comedy ploy of “whoops, we caught our leader”!

Once more, Paul uses his legal knowledge in God’s service. About to be scourged to ascertain why the mob is out for his blood, he calmly asks the centurion if it’s legal to scourge a Roman citizen who is uncondemned. You could almost hear the figurative “brakes screeching” as all the soldiers backed away and the commander realized the trouble he was in and could be in, even worse! Romans loved their laws and prided themselves on applying that to conquered societies as part of the Roman way. They saw it as part of their “civilized” structure. And if you broke that law…big trouble. Though not out of the woods yet, Paul used what he knew and used it in the service of the Lord, as a way of furthering the Gospel.

Like the old joke about the man threatened by a flood, when God told him “I sent you two rowboats and a helicopter”, God wants us to use what we know and what we have in His service.

More to come!

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verse 13: “The one who despises the word will be in debt to it, But the one who fears the commandment will be rewarded.”

As I look back during the time that I officiated high school football, I remember with bemusement some of the reactions of some coaches to the rules. There were always those who argued against the calls that went against their team no matter what…yet these same coaches would be cheering us when the same rule was used in a call against the other team! There were some occasions where the team’s busted play for no gain would actually be saved due to a flag that was thrown on the play.

My Holman concordance makes reference to the fact that those who abide by the law (e.g., those coaches who abide by the rules) will benefit and be rewarded by their obedience; yet those who do not (e.g., coaches who ignore or scorn such rules) will pay the penalty, because they will still be in debt to the law.

To quote an old cliché, “the law is the law”, and that certainly applies to God’s law. As Christians, we are guilty of sin…but we have an Advocate in Jesus Christ. By His blood, our sins are forgiven; our penalty has been served by Him.

Have a blessed day!

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