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A soft answer or a harsh word

A soft answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Proverbs 15:1

There will be times when others are angry at us.  We can’t avoid this but we can choose how we respond to their anger.  We can either give a soft answer, which will turn their wrath away, or we can respond with a harsh word, which will increase their anger.  Two of the judges of Israel, Gideon and Jephthah, encountered the wrath of others in nearly identical circumstances but responded differently.

Gideon was a farmer.  When he first appears in the Biblical account he is beating out wheat in a winepress to keep it hidden from the Midianite invaders of the land.  The angel of the LORD  appeared to him and told him he had been chosen to destroy the Midianites.  He reluctantly accepted the assignment and after a successful war against the Midianites he encountered opposition from one of the other tribes of Israel, Ephraim. Read the rest of this entry

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Oaths

When Paul visited Jerusalem for the last time the Jews started a riot in the temple that led to his arrest by the Romans.  The Romans brought him before the Jewish council for trial and he was acquitted.  Acts 21:27 – 23:11

Many of the Jews wouldn’t accept this and were determined to kill him.

When it was day, the Jews made a plot and bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. There were more than forty who made this conspiracy. They went to the chief priests and elders and said, “We have strictly bound ourselves by an oath to taste no food till we have killed Paul. Now therefore you, along with the council, give notice to the tribune to bring him down to you, as though you were going to determine his case more exactly. And we are ready to kill him before he comes near.”
Acts 23:12-15

Paul’s nephew learned of the plot and warned Paul and the Roman commander.  The commander sent Paul to Caesarea so he would be safe from the Jews. Acts 23:12-35

When reading this I have often wondered whether the Jews who swore not to eat and drink until they killed Paul kept their oath.  Did they die of thirst and starvation? Read the rest of this entry

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