The next day Agrippa and Bernice came with great pomp and entered the audience room with the high ranking officers and the leading men of the city. At the command of Festus, Paul was brought in. Festus said: "King Agrippa, and all who are present with us, you see this man! The whole Jewish community has petitioned me about him in Jerusalem and here in Caesarea, shouting that he ought not to live any longer. I found he had done nothing deserving of death, but because he made his appeal to the Emperor I decided to send him to Rome. But I have nothing definite to write to His Majesty about him. Therefore I have brought him before all of you, and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that as a result of this investigation I may have something to write."
Thoughts for Today:Not long ago, I spent several weeks tossing and turning throughout the night, grinding over a particular business problem. A former associate had "done me wrong" and I was having trouble finding an appropriate response that did not involve lawyers and litigation. I was not at peace. In fact, I felt justified in being angry. Then the Lord shined His light on my problem. He asked me to write down exactly my grievances -- be precise and accurate. The Lord showed me Proverbs 20:5, "The purposes of a man's heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out." This applies not only to other people but also to us personally. I had to ask myself: "What are my deep waters? What is really making me so angry?" After I worked through the "purposes of my heart" (my own "deep waters" if you will), I was able to let go of the anger. Once the anger was gone, a solution was quickly found and I was once again able to sleep at night -- peacefully.
In our passage today, it is unfortunate that Festus did not take a similar approach. If he had, he would have immediately set Paul free. Instead, rather than admitting fault, he continued on in his folly; only now enlisting King Agrippa's aid in manufacturing charges against Paul.
Questions to Ponder:Have you ever charged down a path of self-righteous indignation? Have you allowed anger to distort your perspective? Do you need to pause for a moment and do a "sanity check"? What are your "deep waters"? Is this clouding your judgment? Take a moment right now and "draw out" the "purposes of your heart."