But the Jews were jealous; so they rounded up some bad characters from the marketplace, formed a mob and started a riot in the city. They rushed to Jason's house in search of Paul and Silas in order to bring them out to the crowd. But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some other brothers before the city officials...
Thoughts for Today:We all remember that fateful day on April 29, 1992, when all four LAPD officers who had been videotaped beating Rodney King (an African American) were acquitted as the jury could not reach a verdict. The ensuing spark of outrage about racism quickly turned into a forest fire of violence as a mob took to the streets of South Central Los Angeles shouting "No justice, No peace!"
As I was watched the events unfold that day from the safety of my living room, a news helicopter filmed live as Reginald Denny, a truck driver with a simple load of sand driving through the area, was pulled from his truck by a group of youths and beaten horribly -- right before our eyes. He sustained serious injuries, including numerous skull fractures after one of his attackers dropped a block of concrete on his head. Denny somehow survived due to the efforts of Bobby Green, Titus Murphy, Terri Barnett, and Lei Yuille, all who had been watching the events on TV and came to Denny's aid. All four were black. Bobby Green was a trucker with a license and this allowed him to drive Denny's truck. They loaded Denny into the truck and took him to the hospital.
In our passage today, the Jews were also angry -- so what did they do about it? They "rounded up some bad characters from the marketplace, formed a mob and started a riot in the city." They went in search of Paul and Silas and not finding them "they dragged Jason and some other brothers before the city officials." The crowd wanted blood and not finding Paul and Silas, anyone would do. The key to this is "bad characters from the marketplace." You see, without the bad characters it's kind of hard to start a riot; those kind of people don't need a reason to riot, they just need an excuse.
Questions to Ponder:The next time you feel compelled to join in with the crowd and throw yourself behind popular opinion, stop for a moment and consider who is leading and the motivation. Reginald Denny survived because four people stood apart from the crowd and saved his life. Will you be one of the men or women who stand against the crowd and the acts of bad characters no matter how cleverly disguised their reasons might be? Where is God calling you to stand against the crowd, or the flood of popular opinion? Is it in your workplace, your home, with your friends Your choice reveals a lot about your character.