21/10/11 Job 9-10; Acts 13-14
S: Acts 13:6-12 Afterward they travelled from town to town across the entire island until finally they reached Paphos, where they met a Jewish sorcerer, a false prophet named Bar-Jesus. He had attached himself to the governor, Sergius Paulus, who was an intelligent man. The governor invited Barnabas and Saul to visit him, for he wanted to hear the word of God.
But Elymas, the sorcerer (as his name means in Greek), interfered and urged the governor to pay no attention to what Barnabas and Saul said. He was trying to keep the governor from believing.
Saul, also known as Paul, was filled with the Holy Spirit, and he looked the sorcerer in the eye.10 Then he said, “You son of the devil, full of every sort of deceit and fraud, and enemy of all that is good! Will you never stop perverting the true ways of the Lord?
Watch now, for the Lord has laid his hand of punishment upon you, and you will be struck blind. You will not see the sunlight for some time.” Instantly mist and darkness came over the man’s eyes, and he began groping around begging for someone to take his hand and lead him.
When the governor saw what had happened, he became a believer, for he was astonished at the teaching about the Lord.
O: Wouldn't it be cool if every time we are faced with opposition to the Gospel, God strikes our opponents blind like that? ☺
However, as we can see in the very next town, God doesn't do that every time, even for Paul. God sometimes delivers us in a miraculous way. At other times, He allows the opposition to proceed: Acts 13:50 Then the Jews stirred up the influential religious women and the leaders of the city, and they incited a mob against Paul and Barnabas and ran them out of town. And in the town after that: Acts 14:5-6 Then a mob of Gentiles and Jews, along with their leaders, decided to attack and stone them. When the apostles learned of it, they fled to the region of Lycaonia—to the towns of Lystra and Derbe and the surrounding area. And in the next town, it got even worse: Acts 14:19-20 Then some Jews arrived from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowds to their side. They stoned Paul and dragged him out of town, thinking he was dead. But as the believers gathered around him, he got up and went back into the town. The next day he left with Barnabas for Derbe.
Note to my Jewish friends: please don't bristle at the fact that in each of these cases, the "bad guys" are Jews. Note that the "good guys" (Paul & Barnabas) are also Jews.
By the way, here are some interesting thoughts regarding this incident. Not sure how accurate it is, but it seems plausible.
A: We have to persevere in showing the love of Christ to the world, even if we face opposition. Sometimes, God may perform a miracle, but we cannot count on that. No matter what, we cannot stop proclaiming the Truth about Jesus Christ. We can and should do so in as winsome and tactful a manner as possible, but we must not give in to intimidation, threats, and persecution.
S: Father, may I be faithful to Your Message no matter what. In Jesus' name, amen.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)