When the governor motioned for him to speak, Paul replied: “I know that for a number of years you have been a judge over this nation; so I gladly make my defense. You can easily verify that no more than twelve days ago I went up to Jerusalem to worship. My accusers did not find me arguing with anyone at the temple, or stirring up a crowd in the synagogues or anywhere else in the city. And they cannot prove to you the charges they are now making against me. (Acts 24:10-13)
Paul appealed to Felix’s experience with the Jewish leaders. He knew when anyone threatened their authority, they acted violently. He continued his defense to say he went to Jerusalem to worship, not to argue or stir up crowds in the temple, and he wasn’t in Jerusalem long enough to organize a riot.
He didn’t flatter Felix like the prosecuting lawyer, Tertullus. His defense was credible and his skilled words were from the Holy Spirit. Like Paul, we should depend on God to defend us in our troubles and not use flattery to manipulate people.
Paul warns us in Romans 16:17-18 to stay away from “those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery, they deceive the minds of naïve people.”
Tertullus’s prosecutorial words were from the Accuser. We can’t always stay away from those at work or at school who are mean to us. Next time you are attacked, stand up for yourself as Paul did. Ask for the wisdom and words of the Holy Spirit.
Father, I praise you for sending the Holy Spirit to live inside me. Remind me that the Spirit’s wisdom and words are available when someone attacks me. Let me be wise instead of angry. Thank you for keeping my family safe today. Bind my loved ones closer to You. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.