Daily Devotional: Psalms 7:1-5
1 O LORD my God, I take refuge in you; save and deliver me from all who pursue me, 2 or they will tear me like a lion and rip me to pieces with no one to rescue me. 3 O LORD my God, if I have done this and there is guilt on my hands--4 if I have done evil to him who is at peace with me or without cause have robbed my foe--5 then let my enemy pursue and overtake me; let him trample my life to the ground and make me sleep in the dust. Selah
10 Paul answered: "I am now standing before Caesar's court, where I ought to be tried. I have not done any wrong to the Jews, as you yourself know very well. 11 If, however, I am guilty of doing anything deserving death, I do not refuse to die. But if the charges brought against me by these Jews are not true, no one has the right to hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar!" 12 After Festus had conferred with his council, he declared: "You have appealed to Caesar. To Caesar you will go!"
Paul had been charged with crimes he had not committed. He had tried to preach the gospel but the Jews had rejected him and the message he had delivered. He realized that he was not getting a fair trial and probably would not where he was so as a Roman citizen, he appealed to Caesar. Festus declared that he would go to Caesar. This begins another chapter in the life of Paul and inaugurates his journey to Rome. However it never stopped his preaching Jesus.
Paul was innocent but was willing to accept responsibility for his actions. As the Psalmist, he says that if he is guilty, he deserves to die but since he is not, he put his trust in God. While Paul did not realize exactly what was going to happen or how it would turn out, he was willing to trust God for his future and his life. He had planned to go to Rome but certainly not as a prisoner.
When we have done something wrong, we need to be willing to admit the sin and ask God to forgive. This is not a time to blame others or make excuses. God knows what we have done and why. If we are falsely accused, we need to stand for our integrity and the truth and not back down. Again, God knows our hearts.
O God, thank you for all the things I enjoy in life. Since I live in a physical world and am surrounded by physical things, it is easy to move my focus to them instead of on you and the things above. Give me resolve, strength and self-control to keep my eyes on Jesus. I do thank you for the physical blessings you give me but even more, I thank you for the spiritual blessings in Christ. Thank you for the many Christian friends who constantly encourage me in so many ways. Thank you for my health. Be with those who are suffering. I pray in the name of Jesus.