Day 129: God Can Even Use a Bad Government

Acts 21:31-38 :

As they were trying to kill him, news came up to the commanding officer of the regiment that all Jerusalem was in an uproar. Immediately he took soldiers and centurions, and ran down to them. They, when they saw the chief captain and the soldiers, stopped beating Paul. Then the commanding officer came near, arrested him, commanded him to be bound with two chains, and inquired who he was and what he had done. Some shouted one thing, and some another, among the crowd. When he couldn’t find out the truth because of the noise, he commanded him to be brought into the barracks.

When he came to the stairs, it happened that he was carried by the soldiers because of the violence of the crowd; for the multitude of the people followed after, crying out, “Away with him!” As Paul was about to be brought into the barracks, he asked the commanding officer, “May I speak to you?”

He said, “Do you know Greek? Aren’t you then the Egyptian, who before these days stirred up to sedition and led out into the wilderness the four thousand men of the Assassins?”

I have notice that some people find it difficult to fathom the concept that good people could be mistreated. They automatically assume that if trouble finds you, it is your fault. This reflects a bad philosophy of life that assumes that people are basically good and will only cause problems if they are stirred up by evil men. The Bible teaches exactly the opposite as you can plainly read here.

The people in charge didn’t even think to first determine how the riot got started. They just assumed that it was Paul’s fault. I realize that people were angry with him, but they didn’t seem to realize that, often, Christians were being persecuted simply because of their worldview.

Notice, however, that Paul didn’t become violent. Even in the middle of all these accusations, he simply “asked the commanding officer” if he could speak. Evidentially, they were so presumptuous that they were surprised that Paul could speak Greek. These “leaders” were more prejudice than they were “just,” because they were making many assumptions without even finding out the truth first.

Even so, God is able to move leaders in government in the direction that He chooses and we have the privilege of asking Him to help us. Praying for our leaders is a great responsibility that we should not take lightly, even if we pray for God to move them in the opposite direction they want to go. Even a small group of Christians can have a huge effect if the One that listens to them is so powerful that He can make the leaders go in a different direction.