Monday 8 August, 2016

Acts 18:12-17

12 At that time Gallio was governor of Achaia. The Jews of Corinth got together and attacked Paul. They brought him into court. 13 They made a charge against Paul. They said, “This man is talking people into worshiping God in wrong ways. Those ways are against the law.” 14 Paul was about to give reasons for his actions. But just then Gallio spoke to them. He said, “You Jews don’t claim that Paul has committed a great or small crime. If you did, it would make sense for me to listen to you. 15 But this is about your own law. It is a question of words and names. Settle the matter yourselves. I will not be a judge of such things.” 16 So he made them leave. 17 Then the crowd there turned against Sosthenes, the synagogue leader. They beat him up in front of the governor. But Gallio didn’t care at all.

If I were Paul and about to make my case (vs14) the scene would almost be laughable. Here he is preparing to defend his actions, no doubt asking the Holy Spirit for help and for God to grant him favour, when the whole crisis is averted. Two things stand out to me here, the first is that worry is a complete waste of energy because the thing that is feared truly may not happen. The second is that you cannot predict how God is going to answer your prayers.

I wonder if Paul was expecting a fresh surge of faith and boldness to speak, or the opportunity to speak and see people come to faith… But God delivered Paul by using the appointed authority to deny the case and set Paul free! Yes on many occasions God gave Paul strength to stand his ground in difficult circumstances, but in this instance God simply removed the difficulty altogether!

I wonder how Paul felt? I wonder if he was surprised, looked around for further opposition, and then walked away with a bemused smile on his face. I wonder if he shared a laugh with God, enjoying God’s deliverance and how great it was to have the King of the Universe on his side.

Whatever Paul’s reaction, it’s good to be reminded that God will answer my prayers as He sees fit, and it will always be an interesting adventure with Him! Thanks God for partnering with your people and for ensuring our journey with you is interesting and exciting! Amen.

Written by Beth Waugh

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