July 19, 2015

Ezekiel 21-22
To Israel - “I am against you.  I’m pulling my sword from its sheath and killing both the wicked &     the righteous.  Because I’m treating everyone the same, good and bad, everyone from the north to south is going to feel by sword.  

Everyone will know that I mean business.... the underdog will be promoted and the top dog will be demoted...        
You are a community that’s insolent to parents, abusive to outsiders, oppressive against                                                                                        orphans & widows.  You treat my holy things with contempt & desecrate my Sabbaths. You have people spreading lies & spilling blood, flocking to the hills to the sex shrines & fornicating unrestrained.  Incest is common.  Men force themselves on women regardless of whether they’re ready or willing.  Sex is now     anarchy....and you have forgotten me!            
I looked for someone to stand up for me against all this, to repair the defenses of the city, to stand for me and stand in the gap to protect this land so I wouldn’t have to destroy it.  I couldn’t find anyone.  Not one!            

Acts 16:16-16:40
On our way to the place of prayer a psychic slave girl ran into us.  She started following Paul around & calling everyone’s attention to him declaring that he worked for the Most High God & were laying the road to salvation.  

Paul became fed up with this & commanded the spirit that possessed her to come out in the name of Jesus.  It did. Her owners saw that their good business through her was gone so they went after Paul & Silas, roughed them up & dragged them into the market square.  

The judges ordered a public beating then threw them in jail.  Around midnight, Paul & Silas were praying/singing robustly while the other prisoners couldn’t believe what they were doing.  Suddenly, a huge earthquake occurred that freed all of the prisoners.  When the jailer discovered this, he was about to kill himself fearing that he was as good as dead.  Paul stopped him & informed him that no one had escaped.  The jailer asked what he had to do to be saved to really live.  Paul responded: “Put your entire trust in the Master Jesus.  Then you live as you were meant to live & everyone in your house included.”  It was a night to remember.  In the morning, the judges sent word to release Paul & Silas but Paul wouldn’t budge unless the judges came themselves & walked them out in public.

The judges panicked not realizing that Paul was a Roman citizen.  They hurried over, apologized personally escorted them from the jail and then asked them if they wouldn’t please leave the city.
Paul & Silas went straight to Lydia’s house, saw their friends again, encouraged them in their faith and only then went on their way.