Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Roman Justice

Have you ever felt like life was treating you poorly? Maybe you've been in class when the teacher decides to punish the whole class for the wrong doing of one student. My kids have cried foul this year as teachers would not release a class to recess until everybody was quiet. (Where are these kids who talk more than my own?)

Life can get that way. It beats you up and then goes on its merry way. The righteous suffer while the unrighteous seem to continue on without a care. That's nothing new. People have been crying 'no fair' for a long time. (Check out Job 35:9-16).

If someone could understand, then I believe it was Paul. This guy had been on both ends of this situation. When he was doing wrong, he seemed to succeed. Now that he was giving his life for Jesus, bad things seemed to follow him like stink follows a county fair.

Paul was arrested because a bunch of people were beating him up. (Acts 21:31-36) How does that seem fair? Did the Romans feel Paul had it coming to him? How would you like to be hauled off to jail because someone beat you up?

Later, the crowd that is accusing Paul gets out of hand, so Paul is ordered to be flogged for answers. (Acts 22:22-29) Does that seem right?

The hits keep on coming for Paul. What about those guys who took the vow not to eat until Paul was killed? (Acts 23:12-15) First of all, how does anyone take that idea to a religious leader and get the thumb's up?

Over-zealous church-goers: 'Listen, Pastor, we know that some guys down the street at the next church have been causing you problems. What we'd like to do is take him out, if you know what we mean.'
Pastor: 'Sounds good. Make it look spiritual by fasting before you do so.'

But I'll bet those guys felt pretty hungry and foolish when Paul escaped town. Actually, knowing Paul's luck, they probably started eating soon after he left. Some guys can't get a break. I remember when vows were kept.

All this to say, sometimes life is not going to go your way. Life will not always be fair. Unlike the world that Disney creates for our tweens, problems are not often solved in 22 minutes or less. But rest assured, no matter how long your problems have lasted, or how difficult your issues have become, injustice will not go on forever.

I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. Revelation 19:11

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