The Daily Word: Sunday, July 4th, 2021
2 Kings 23:31-25:30
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
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. – Acts 22:30
The commander of a Roman garrison was about to beat the Apostle Paul. He decided that Paul should be “examined under scourging, that he might know why they shouted so against him” (v 24). Scourging was a brutal punishment designed to elicit a confession from an accused criminal. Roman soldiers would whip the back of the accused man with a whip called a cat of nine tails, which typically had sharp pieces of bone or rock embedded in it. The whip would rip the flesh from the back and legs of the accused, exposing the muscle tissue and often the bone. Paul was headed for a gruesome experience of pain and suffering!
Yet Paul made a declaration that changed his fate:
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?” – Acts 22:25
Paul was a Roman! And as soon as his captor heard it, Paul was set free. The commander “released [Paul] from his bonds” (v 30), and allowed Paul to defend himself. Don’t you get it? All Paul had to do to be released from his bonds was declare that he was a citizen of Rome. With that one declaration, the onslaught against him stopped! His bonds were loosed and he was given a chance to mount a defense.
And when you declare your citizenship – you are a citizen of Heaven (Phil. 3:20) and a child of God (1 John 3:2)! – the same release will take place. Your bonds of oppression will be broken. Your yoke of bondage will be destroyed. You will finally be free to “serve [God] without fear” (Lk. 1:74).
All it takes is one declaration. God not only keeps you safe, He sets you free! Declare your place in Him, and experience true freedom once and for all.
Lord, thank You for my freedom! I am a child of God. I am a citizen of Heaven! As I declare my identity for all the world to hear, I know I will experience freedom like never before. God, I thank You for it, in Jesus’ name!
© Michael D. White, 2021. All rights reserved.