07/31/19 One Among Many

READING: Job 28-29, Acts 23:11-24:9

More than forty people agreed together that they would kill Paul. In fact, they not only plotted together, but they also agreed that they would “neither eat nor drink until they had killed Paul” (Acts 23:12). So strongly committed were they to this task that the original language implies that they invoked a curse on themselves if they did not succeed. Their plot was an elaborate one, suggesting they had given forethought to how they might secure Paul’s presence, ambush him, and take his life.

Once again, I’m fascinated by the apparent ease with which evil spreads from person-to-person. I doubt all forty men came up with the same idea at the same time; rather, somebody must have devised the plan, enlisted others, and convinced them to join the plot. My hunch is that as the group grew larger, it was easier to convince others to make the same vow. Sinful attitudes snowball through crowds – and, frankly, the growing number of participants probably also explains why word about the plot got out.

Against that growing crowd was Paul’s nephew, who told Paul about the plot and eventually secured his transfer. This young man was only one man among many, but his stand for right made a difference. May we, too, choose to do right even when the crowds outnumber us.

PRAYER: “God, grant me grace and strength to always stand up for right.”   

TOMORROW’S READING:  Job 30-31, Acts 24:10-27