Acts 23:6,7 "But when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, “Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee; concerning the hope and resurrection of the dead I am being judged!” And when he had said this, a dissension arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees; and the assembly was divided."
Even then, it was known that Joseph Stalin had instigated political purges in which tens of thousands were killed, and that he was also behind the introduction of farming collectives, which led to a famine and the death of up to 10 million people. Yet in 1953 when the BBC first reported that he was on the brink of death, US President Truman, along with other world leaders, expressed his sympathy for Mr. Stalin saying, “I am sorry just as I would be if such a thing happened to any other acquaintance of mine.” Stunning! Oh President Truman, what insincerity, what lies, what a chilling verbal charade! For although now the whole world knows that Joseph Stalin was responsible for the vicious death of millions, the sad truth is that it was also known then, and most thoroughly by you, our then elected politicians.
Politics however, is a messy affair and especially messy around the mouth. Friends, there is a vast difference between Prophets and politicians, the chief one being their life span! Prophets, on the whole, have never had a long shelf life. If you are playing with the truth to preserve your life, then you are playing politics. Careful now, careful now oh prophet of God, you might just be turning into politician!
In our text for today, the apostle Paul, in his shrewdness, had taken advantage of a very tense and life threatening situation. Seizing the moment, with a flash of sharp rhetoric, he had divided the assembly right down the middle. With a swish of political genius, it seemed he had turned them on one another and bought a little time for himself! Unfortunately however, in just a matter of hours, the apostle would be the focus of a mass and joint assassination plot. Politics, you see, is a very dangerous game. Maybe Paul thought he had no other option but to play politics at that point? Who can tell?
Friend if you have gotten a little messy around the mouth recently, then take your napkin and bravely wipe away the political spittle, stop protecting yourself and stand back and see what God will do! In Paul’s case, though again and again, people would desert him, God would not, could not, and did not! Paul testified to that and maybe today, you need to experience the presence of Jesus in your proclamation? Meanwhile..... STOP playing politics!
Listen: - But the following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome.” Acts 23:11
Pray: Lord, in joy or in sadness, in peace or in trial, come stand with me today. For I need Your very felt presence and Your most assuring personal word to my heart, else I might employ the flees of Tarshish and the transport of Joppa to worm and wriggle, out of both my duty and my calling, even Your desired destiny for me. So comfort me today O Lord, come stand with me tonight and strengthen me for the morrow, in Your great name I ask it, amen.