Job 28-29 Acts 13:1-25
“But Saul, who was also called Paul, was filled with the Holy Spirit. He looked straight at Elymas and said, ‘You son of the devil! You are an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of evil tricks and lies, always trying to change the Lord’s truths into lies. Now the Lord will touch you, and you will be blind. For a time you will not be able to see anything—not even the light from the sun.’” (Acts 13:9-11a NCV)
Things were going so great at Antioch, that God split up the leadership. He sent out Saul and Barnabas on a trip to spread the gospel – the first mission trip. The gospel message caught on and new churches were formed. The gospel message had an impact and ran into opposition. The governor of the island of Paphos had a magician, possibly as an advisor. He fought against the spread of the gospel, seeking to keep Sergius Paulus, the governor, from turning to Christ. Saul, who became known as Paul from this point rebuked him and pronounced a physical blindness on Elymas to equal his spiritual blindness. Elymas wandered in blindness for a short time while the governor became a believer in Jesus.
There are two things that will bring about a reaction from God. The first is that when things are going well and His people become comfortable, He’ll remind us that there’s more to do. We’ll be called to begin a new church, engage in a new mission, or meet a need of society that only the church can handle. The church in Antioch was ready for that because they were praying and fasting as they sought God’s direction. I don’t think most of us who are in positions of comfort are doing that enough, and God’s call on our lives seems optional. God doesn’t call us so that we can choose to follow Him; He calls us to follow Him no matter the cost. The other thing that will provoke a reaction from God is outright opposition to the gospel. We see cases throughout the New Testament where those who opposed the gospel, perverted the gospel, or persecuted Christians dealt with supernatural responses from God. In this situation, Elymas became blind for a time. Herod met his death as did Ananias and Sapphira. It’s a dangerous goal to oppose God’s people or pervert His will. Perhaps that’s why we don’t seek God’s will as fervently as we ought. If we knew God’s will, then we’d have to follow it. If we don’t have a clear word from God, then we’re off the hook. Except, we have a clear word in the Bible. We’re called to love each other. We’re called to proclaim the love and grace of God. We’re called to throw off the shackles of sin. We’re called to warn our neighbors of the consequences of sin as we share the forgiveness of God. Sometimes, there are more intense callings in the lives of Christians – such as the calling of Saul and Barnabas, but we’re all called to share God’s love with others.
Lord, remind me that I already know Your will for my life. While You may add on other things, You’ve called me to share Your love and grace with a world that’s blind to You and Your ways. Let my life and my words always show Your love to others.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved