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Weekly Devotional

Devotional: W.G. Mullan

No. 461

HAPPY  IN  CHAINS     Acts 26: 2.

Introduction to Paul before Agrippa.

Paul had arrived in Jerusalem, “to bring alms and offerings to my nation,”  Acts 24:17.  He complied with the request of the church leaders in Jerusalem and entered into a purificatory rite at the temple with some of the brethren,  The outcome of this was to be falsely accused by the Jews, of temple defilement, to be at the centre of rioting and nearly losing his life, till rescued by Roman soldiers.  He was sent to Caesarea to avoid further lying and murderous conspiracy.  Detained for 2 years in a  Roman dungeon by covetous and Jew-pleasing Felix, he is now presented before king Agrippa by replacement governor Festus, if perhaps some “case-presentation” can be gleaned and forwarded to Caesar, to whom Paul has been forced to appeal, thwarting Jewish plotting to kill him.

This is the background of false accusations and bitter hatred exerted by fellow countrymen, who professed like he, “the Hope of the Promise made by God to our fathers,” Acts 26:2.  Their hypocrisy, coming from the High Priest and circle, 25:2, would have deeply disturbed many a sincere person and the evasive operations of  Rome’s representative could have produced fear and even despair but Paul lived in the centre of his faithful God, supreme over every situation – he was “happy.”

He was in the centre of that purpose revealed to godly Ananias of Damascus, Acts 9:15,  “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My Name before Gentiles, kings and the children of Israel.  For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My Name’s Sake.”  While the apostle could have been downcast by the treatment of his fellow countrymen and he must have noticed that no support came from “Pharisees who believed,”  Acts 15:5,  yet he stood before the pageantry of  the ‘Agrippas’, the military prowess of Rome and the splendour of  local authority; his “happiness” lay in the privilege of declaring “the unsearchable Riches of Christ”  and to be given an audience to  listen attentively to this Message – the greatest Message in the world!!. 

Looking around, the apostle was not unnerved by the august body but saw himself  as “a nothing” representing the King of Kings !  though bearing irons.!

While thus observing, Paul is most respectful to voice his appreciation of the attention given him – and the understanding of one like Agrippa.  The noble people would now hear how such a fearful persecutor became one “happy” to proclaim, in chains, the One He serves with his very life!

Do I, in every situation in life, count myself “happy” to witness of my Saviour ?     

 

William G. Mullan

wmullan777@btinternet.com

 

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