April 3, 2009
Acts 9:1-18 is about the conversion of Saul. Here was a devout Jew highly trained in the Jewish Synagogue. As the word opens he is “breathing out murderous threats” against the Lord’s disciples. (vs.1) Murder was in his heart and he knew about the Lord and the Ten Commandments.
This Saul knew about God but he did not know God. Saul proves this of himself in verse 5...
He didn’t know Jesus and yet he had formed an opinion about him and the people who believed in him. He was among the intellectuals, philosophers and lawmakers of his people every day and yet his mind was open only to what he had been taught by them. He was already blind to Jesus in spirit.
In verse 4 Jesus arrests him on the road to Damascus and Saul has an encounter with the true and living God. Saul’s question proves he didn’t really know God for he asks, “Who are you, Lord?”. Jesus reveals himself to Saul and then commands him where to go and what to do.
Did Saul have free will at this point? That’s food for thought.
Saul was then blind for three days… I believe there was a transformation of Saul’s heart during this time. I wonder what things Jesus did in Saul as he sat in a darkened state unable to move about without crashing into something. Yet this was the most enlightened time he had ever known! He was changed forever!
It was revealed to Saul in a vision that Ananias would come and his sight would be restored.
Ananias knew the Lord well; he must have been a very devout follower of Christ for Jesus to be able to trust him with such a task. Ananias was afraid and Jesus’ reply was “Go!” Fear was not an option.
There were two things revealed to Ananias about Saul in verse 15 that he was God’s chosen instrument to carry his name before the Gentiles and their kings and the people of Israel and that he would suffer much.
Does an instrument have its choice who plays it or how it is played? Did Saul have a choice as to whether or not he would suffer? More food for thought.
And what was the purpose of all this? God’s plan; His plan of redemption not only for the Jews but for everyone. Look at the great lengths to which God will go to reach his people. His purposes will be accomplished in the way he desires. There is no plan B with God only plan A.
God is in control of every circumstance that comes into our lives to prepare us for the future and he makes good come from bad things if we love him the scripture says. If you are going through bad circumstances right now look up for as a storm comes and then it is gone so it is with the bad things in our lives…this too shall pass.
Trust in God because he has a good purpose for every bad circumstance he allows in our lives. I think of Colossians 1: 15-20 “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
For by him ALL things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.
He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.
For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself ALL things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”
Powerful! Everything is about him, in him, through him, for him, created by him…EVERYTHING!! In heaven and on earth good and bad he holds it all together for the purpose of redeeming all things to himself. People, this is the very heart of God…REDEMPTION!
This says above that it pleased God to have his fullness dwell in Christ and guess what! If Christ is in you the fullness of God dwells in you as well! Selah!
Wait patiently upon God and look for the good that God is bringing through every trial and tribulation. Remember, the message of salvation was brought to everyone through Saul because of a bad circumstance (blinded for three days) that came into his life!
April 3, 2009