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Night Whispers - April 19

  • 2020 Apr 19

Night Whispers Devotional

April 19th

Dream word – STEADY

Acts 24:1-9

“Now after five days Ananias the high priest came down with the elders and a certain orator named Tertullus. These gave evidence to the governor against Paul.  And when he was called upon, Tertullus began his accusation, saying: ‘Seeing that through you we enjoy great peace, and prosperity is being brought to this nation by your foresight, we accept it always and in all places, most noble Felix, with all thankfulness. Nevertheless, not to be tedious to you any further, I beg you to hear, by your courtesy, a few words from us. For we have found this man a plague, a creator of dissension among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes. He even tried to profane the temple, and we seized him, and wanted to judge him according to our law. But the commander Lysias came by and with great violence took him out of our hands, commanding his accusers to come to you. By examining him yourself you may ascertain all these things of which we accuse him.’ And the Jews also assented, maintaining that these things were so.” NKJV

The orator little pleader and the enemy of the state

For sure, Tertullus the prosecutor, that little old Latin speaking, Italian turtle head, fully associated himself with his clients the Jews, and most thoroughly earned his wages that day! I wonder how much they paid him? He did this by presenting a very simple and strong case against the Apostle Paul with the use of the clever manipulation of half-truths. In so doing, he perpetrated a crime of gross injustice, by invoking plausible but dishonest pleadings in the at-first, disinterested ears of Felix. Then, with the cheering affirmation of a hired mob, Tertullus iced his perfect little cake of false accusation, by trying to then strong arm the Governor himself into compliance with his twisted talking, his festering little fairy tale.

Yes, Tertullus, a hired gun, a retained lawyer of some professional and vocal strength, exuding sufficient slime to let a large elephant seal, slither down an old, cold, cobbled high street, poked Festus with the simple yet very sharp trident of adulation, argumentation and affirmation. Especially of the Governor’s patriotic sensibilities, for anyone examining both Tertullus’s arguments and the accused, would himself be a senseless traitor if he continued to allow Paul, that arch enemy of the Roman State, to continue to cause civil disobedience in the face of Caesar. Yes, old Tertullus earned his fee that day, that’s for sure!

Interestingly, Tertullus is the diminutive from the Latin word “tetius”, meaning, third. I wonder if he was the third child? The youngster maybe, the picked-on momma’s boy, the little runt of the litter? Some commentators have suggested that it was Jewish humour that led him to be called Tertullus, for his name was actually Ter-Tullius, which in the Greek means, three times a liar, three times a teller of stories, or even three times a cheat! It is an interesting conjecture for sure, but who knows really? Save we all agree that Tertullus is a great name for a lawyer!

Now, we do know that the enemies of light used every slimy means possible to stop the spread of that light. Felix, did not know too much of the so-called “Sect of the Nazarenes” but he was familiar somewhat with “the way” and this got his attention! Still, Felix was one of those people, who though he was warned and strangely warmed by the fire of God’s holiness, he never approached the burning bush which God had lit in his heart. These are some of the most dangerous of people for sure. They are time wasters, un-deciders, undeclared, scared folks, fearful of the fire, who, though knowing their end, never the less do not repent but rather, will abuse the saints, taking what they can from them, whilst keeping them on hand, just in case.

Without proof, Felix nevertheless detains the apostle Paul, and after two years of this use and abuse, fat Festus succeeded Felix as Governor and kept the apostle bound for the sake of the Jews.

I wonder, if over those two years of wait, Paul or his friends should have paid the accepted and expected bribe to Felix and so secure his release? I think they should have, save for two most important points. First, that Paul knew what awaited him! The Holy Spirit had already told Paul, that in every place and maybe even in that penultimate place of Rome, chains and tribulations awaited him. (Acts 20:23) Second, that the Lord Jesus had already told him to cheer up for he was going to Rome to testify of Him!

Cheer up indeed, for knowledge of God’s will, will keep us on track, will keep us in The Way, even when there is a way out! Indeed, even orator little pleaders, will smooth the path before us.

The Way is not easy but it is right and it is correct? Do you see it yet?

Listen: “But the following night the Lord stood by him and said, ‘Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome.’” - Acts 23:11 NKJV.

Pray: O Lord my God, so speak to me, even if from my perspective I do not think it is the most  cheerful of news. Amen.

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