The Daily Fountain Daily Devotional of the Church Of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) 14 August 2020 – Know Your Right And Defend It
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TOPIC: Know Your Right And Defend It
Read: Acts 22:17-30 (NKJV)
- “Now it happened, when I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, that I was in a trance
- “and saw Him saying to me, ‘Make haste and get out of Jerusalem quickly, for they will not receive your testimony concerning Me.’
- “So I said, ‘Lord, they know that in every synagogue I imprisoned and beat those who believe on You.
- ‘And when the blood of Your martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by consenting to his death, and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.’
- “Then He said to me, ‘Depart, for I will send you far from here to the Gentiles.’ “
- And they listened to him until this word, and [then] they raised their voices and said, “Away with such a [fellow] from the earth, for he is not fit to live!”
- Then, as they cried out and tore off [their] clothes and threw dust into the air,
- the commander ordered him to be brought into the barracks, and said that he should be examined under scourging, so that he might know why they shouted so against him.
- 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?”
- When the centurion heard [that,] he went and told the commander, saying, “Take care what you do, for this man is a Roman.”
- Then the commander came and said to him, “Tell me, are you a Roman?” He said, “Yes.”
- The commander answered, “With a large sum I obtained this citizenship.” And Paul said, “But I was born [a citizen.”]
- Then immediately those who were about to examine him withdrew from him; and the commander was also afraid after he found out that he was a Roman, and because he had bound him.
- The next day, because he wanted to know for certain why he was accused by the Jews, he released him from [his] bonds, and commanded the chief priests and all their council to appear, and brought Paul down and set him before them.
It is often said, “Your right is your power” and “ignorance of the law is not an excuse.” In our society today, many people who do not know their right(s) are cheated and molested. It is not unchristian to claim and defend your constitutional rights where possible. In today’s Bible passage, we see Paul claiming his constitutional rights and privileges. Due to the confusion that followed the defence of his faith before the crowd, “the commander ordered him to be brought into the barracks, and said that he should be examined under scourging…” (verse 24). This action of the commander was against the Roman law that forbade binding and scourging of uncondemned Roman citizens. Paul knew this and asserted his right (verse 25). Paul’s knowledge of his rights and privileges as a Roman citizen (he was born in Tarsus, a Roman Colony), prevented his being unjustly flogged.
Beloved, there is no reason why we may not use lawful means at our disposal to repel or prevent an injury. Are you under pressure to sleep with your boss or lecturer at school? Are you a victim of sexual abuse? Are you unjustly denied your wages by an over-bearing boss or asked to engage in fraudulent practices? Take it to God in prayer, seek godly counsel and where possible, seek lawful means to redress the ungodly act. Moreover, do you know that it is your right to resist the devil, and he will flee from you (James 4:7)? The devil is at the root of all problems, resist him with prayer and he will flee from you.
PRAYER: Deliver me, oh Lord, from all afflictions of the devil in Jesus name I pray. Amen.