July 3

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“Brothers and esteemed fathers,” Paul said, “listen to me as I offer my defense.” When they heard him speaking in their own language, the silence was even greater” (Acts 22:1-2 NLT).

From: July 3, 2018

PAUL SAW HIS PERSECUTION AS A PLATFORM
When a riot broke out in Jerusalem concerning Paul’s presence there, many in the crowd tried to kill Paul. However, the Roman guard was alerted and intervened, putting Paul in chains and taking him away. Paul considered the great crowd still following and asked the Roman Commander for permission to speak to them. This was an unusual request. Yet even more unusual was that after Paul spoke to the commander in fluent Greek, which clearly impressed him, the commander gave Paul permission. At this, Paul began to give his Damascus road testimony in Aramaic, calling those that sought to murder him, “brothers and esteemed fathers.” When the crowd heard Paul speaking in their own language they stopped yelling and shouting and grew silent as Paul gave his testimony.
 
When most would be concerned about defending their own life, Paul was focused on defending the faith. He saw the great crowd gathered to persecute him as a platform, an opportunity, to share the gospel with them

“In his days Pharaoh Necho king of Egypt went to the aid of the king of Assyria, to the River Euphrates; and King Josiah went against him. And Pharaoh Necho killed him at Megiddo when he confronted him” (2 Kings 23:29 NKJV).

From: July 3, 2017

King Josiah was the last of the good kings in Judah. It was written of him that there was no king like him, neither before or after, who turned to the Lord with all his heart, soul and might. Yet, the brief description of his death in battle sadly does not include any reference to him inquiring of the Lord beforehand. He was wounded at Megiddo in the Jezreel Valley, also called the valley of Armageddon. His servants carried him back to Jerusalem, where he was buried in his own tomb.
 
Josiah’s death was described in more detail in 2 Chronicles 35, including even the mourning of Jeremiah the prophet and all Judah in its report. The death of Josiah marked the swift decline of Judah to its ultimate fall to Babylon. The Lord had delayed judgment on Judah for Josiah’s sake (2 Kings 22:19-20), but afterwards, judgment came just as the Lord had said.

“And when he had given him permission, Paul, standing on the steps, motioned with his hand to the people. And when there was a great hush, he addressed them in the Hebrew language” (Acts 21:40 ESV)

From: July 3, 2016

Even though Paul was beaten and falsely accused by a mob in Jerusalem, he was still determined to tell them the story of his conversion on the road to Damascus. The only reason he was in the Temple area was because the apostle James had asked him to take part in a Jewish purification rite in order to show his observance of the law to those who accused him otherwise. Paul’s submission to Christ and to the apostle James is in view here. Paul was a man under authority. So, when his life was threatened, instead of making a plea for his own life, he made a plea for those who persecuted him, that they might hear and believe the gospel.

“Now it happened, when the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, that he tore his clothes” (2 Kings 22:11 NKJV)

From: July 3, 2015

King Josiah was crowned at age eight after his father, Amon, was murdered by conspirators. Both his father and his grandfather, Manasseh, were evil kings who had led the people into idolatry. Apparently, during the 55-year reign of Manasseh, the Book of the Law had been lost. How this came to be is not explained, but it was found in the Temple by the high priest when Josiah commissioned him to collect money for Temple repairs. When the Book was brought before Josiah and read to him, he tore his clothes in repentance. After inquiring of the Lord concerning His Word, Josiah cleaned house and publicly made a covenant with the Lord to keep His commands. According to 2 Kings 23:25 “before him there was no king like him, who turned to the Lord with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses; nor after him did any arise like him.”
If only our government would rediscover the law of God…

“The commander agreed, so Paul stood on the stairs and motioned to the people to be quiet. Soon a deep silence enveloped the crowd, and he addressed them in their own language, Aramaic” (Acts 21:40 NLT)

From: July 3, 2014

The riotous crowd that had chanted to kill Paul now fell silent as he addressed them in their own tongue. Did he defend himself or respond in anger? No. He gave his testimony. Paul’s response was the epitome of the prayer that the early church prayed in Acts 4:29 when they prayed, “Lord, you consider their threats while granting us boldness to speak Your Word.” We can pray this prayer too. Paul was truly bold, but his courage came from a deep sense of calling by the Lord Jesus. The Lord is still calling followers that would depend on Him like Paul.