Acts 16:19-24 :
But when her masters saw that the hope of their gain was gone, they seized Paul and Silas, and dragged them into the marketplace before the rulers. When they had brought them to the magistrates, they said, “These men, being Jews, are agitating our city, and set forth customs which it is not lawful for us to accept or to observe, being Romans.”
The multitude rose up together against them, and the magistrates tore their clothes off of them, and commanded them to be beaten with rods. When they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, charging the jailer to keep them safely, who, having received such a command, threw them into the inner prison, and secured their feet in the stocks.
This is an example of how the love of money is a root of evil. When people get easy money they’ll do almost anything to keep it easy. Some people think this is a failure of the capitalist economy, but this type of thing happens in any economy that has already allowed easy money to exist. The problem is when an economy is already drunk on the wine of theft,it is difficult to get it uncorrupted. Capitalism is a system that will allow a free man to show kindness freely with his own goods. The same system can turn into a cruel oppression when a society throws away the rule of God which tells us that men are to be respectful, loving, giving and honor God. A valid role of government is to make sure that people who violate the laws of God are stopped, but when both capitalism is crippled and God is removed from government, oppression comes from both the government and the criminal element.
In this case, the Holy Spirit took over and stopped a easy-money-making scheme, and unfortunately, the government was swayed by evil men and quickly choose to do their bidding instead of defending the those who were being robbed. The action was swift and very painful. Paul and Silas were beaten by Romans with rods and whips. They were probably pretty bloody by the time they were taken down into the inner prison and locked up. Just thinking about this makes me angry at sin; both mine and that of this world. Paul probably remembered when he was on the other side of these kinds of events. It is good to know that Paul and Silas were shown by the Holy Spirit how to overcome bad feelings as we read next.