35 Early in the morning the judges sent their officers to the jailer. They ordered him, “Let those men go.” 36 The jailer told Paul, “The judges have ordered me to set you and Silas free. You can leave now. Go in peace.” 37 But Paul replied to the officers. “They beat us in public,” he said. “We weren’t given a trial. And we are Roman citizens! They threw us into prison. And now do they want to get rid of us quietly? No! Let them come themselves and personally lead us out.” 38 The officers reported this to the judges. When the judges heard that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens, they became afraid. 39 So they came and said they were sorry. They led them out of the prison. Then they asked them to leave the city. 40 After Paul and Silas came out of the prison, they went to Lydia’s house. There they met with the believers. They told them to be brave. Then they left.
Paul is determined to not let the city officials get away with doing the wrong thing to innocent people so he takes a stand. There are times when we should also take a stand when things are not right. It is not right for the rich and powerful to be a
ble to do violence to those who are not. It is good to bring such situations out into the light and not let them be hidden.
It takes wisdom and guidance from God, however, to know when to speak out. We do need to be careful especially when speaking out on someone else’s behalf – we can do damage rather than being helpful. Asking God what to do and when to do it is important. This world is full of people taking advantage of others. I have had the conversation a few times lately about how often there are those people who find the way in any situation to get around the rules to make the most out of a situation with little regard for how other people
are affected. It is a failing of being human – we have to choose to be respectful and caring otherwise its easy to just go for everything we can get.
Lord help me to be aware of what is going on around me – to pay attention to the world – to notice when wrong is being done. Help me also to be bold with wisdom – to speak at the right time to help those who need it.
Written by Therese Manning