11 December 2006

Apostols torments

They seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the market place before the authorities, and when they had brought them to the chief magistrates, they said, "These men are throwing our city into confusion.

Paul and Silas are taken into the market place before the authorities. At the center of the marketplace of Philippi was the forum. On the north side of the forum stood a raised platform. It was known as the Bema -- the seat of judgment. It was here that Paul and Silas were brought.

And the crowd rose up together against them, and the chief magistrates tore their robes off them, and proceeded to order them to be beaten with rods. 23 And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to guard them securely; 24 and he, having received such a command, threw them into the inner prison, and fastened their feet in the stocks

Notice the mob mentality that is at work. This all takes place in the public square of the marketplace. The crowd gathers and it moves against Paul and Silas. The magistrates order the two men to be stripped of their clothes and beaten. Shame and pain are mixed together as many blows are inflicted. But that is not all. They are then thrown into prison and their feet are secured in stocks. They will be forced to sit in an uncomfortable position for hours upon end with no relief.

What would have been your attitude in such circumstances? Beaten, mocked, stripped naked, rejected, and now forced to sit in uncomfortable stocks amidst your own refuse in the most unsanitary conditions imaginable.

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