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The promise land

  • Acts 18:6-10: But when the Jews opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, Your blood be on your own heads! I am clear of my responsibility. From now on I will go to the Gentiles. Then Paul left the synagogue and went next door to the house of Titus Justus, a worshiper of God. Crispus, the synagogue ruler, and his entire household believed in the lord, and many of the Corinthians who heard him believe and were baptized. One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: " Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.

     

    Paul's call was always to be the preacher and messenger to the Gentiles. There was such a natural desire for him to be around his own kind. I mean it would make sense. Paul was after all a Hebrew's Hebrew (Phil. 3:5). He was the real deal before his transformation. If anyone would be able to speak to the Jews, it would be a the Jew of all Jews. He was from the tribe of Benjamin. It would seem though that the Lord had other plans for him. I believe that Paul wanted to convince the Jews with the extensive knowledge that he had of scripture and his amazing transformation, it would be a Vegas dream that Paul would make believers out of the Jews, and yet we see his frustration. We see that he gets almost nowhere with some, and if fact tells them, look I told you what is up, the blood is on your hands not mine. 

    For Paul, going to the Gentiles is like his promise land. This is what the Lord's plan for Paul's life was. This is what he was born to do, to fulfill the call on his life. This word from Jesus was the marking of the start of Paul going into his personal promise land. 

    This is a mirror image of Joshua leading the Israelites into their promise land. God tells Joshua, in Joshua 1:8-9: Do not let this Book of the law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; God will be with you wherever you go.

     

    Joshua became a leader after the death of Moses ( who represented the law), and Paul was called to preach after the death and resurrection of Jesus to teach grace. They were both instructed to speak that which the Lord commanded and the both were promised protection and reminded to not be afraid of anything whatsoever. 

    We have the same opportunity here. We do not have to be silent, or afraid, or worried about being alone. The Lord has many people in any town and so we never have to be afraid. Let us go to the Lord and find our call, and when we get that call, let us never have fear, let us never remain silent in what our call is. In that way we will be like the Joshua, and Paul, and honor the Lord with what it is we are called to do in this life. 


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Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd

Thank you for that wonderful and encouraging message, brother! I love how you pointed out that Paul's gifts were used, but not necessarily in the way he would plan. That is so like how it is many times :)

November 2, 2016