Saturday, May 24, 2014

Re: Today's Readings

Consider the following in light of our recent post on Noah and the Deluge:

Paul reached also Derbe and Lystra
where there was a disciple named Timothy,
the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer,
but his father was a Greek.
The brothers in Lystra and Iconium spoke highly of him,
and Paul wanted him to come along with him.
On account of the Jews of that region, Paul had him circumcised,
for they all knew that his father was a Greek.
As they traveled from city to city,
they handed on to the people for observance the decisions
reached by the Apostles and presbyters in Jerusalem.
Day after day the churches grew stronger in faith
and increased in number.

They traveled through the Phrygian and Galatian territory
because they had been prevented by the Holy Spirit
from preaching the message in the province of Asia.
When they came to Mysia, they tried to go on into Bithynia,
but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them,
so they crossed through Mysia and came down to Troas.
During the night Paul had a vision.
A Macedonian stood before him and implored him with these words,
“Come over to Macedonia and help us.”
When he had seen the vision,
we sought passage to Macedonia at once, 
concluding that God had called us to proclaim the Good News to them.

Acts 16:1-10

Notice in the above narrative that God explicitly prevents St. Paul from going certain places to preach the Gospel. We don't know why. Some will accuse God of being a jerk here. Why? Was there something special about those areas that He owed them a missionary? No, because God isn't bound by anything other than Himself and nowhere has He promised a missionary. Maybe the people weren't ready for the message yet and required some additional time for the culture to present less of a stumbling block. Who knows but God? Again, we are left with the perspective of either acknowledging that God is God and accepting His judgment on things, including that He does not treat everyone the same, or we put ourselves in the position of judging God by our own human standards, which is simply arrogant.


haskovec said...

It is also possible that God wouldn't allow them to go there as they would have been killed had they gone there and it was not yet their time.

Throwback said...

Maybe, but God intervened many times to keep missionaries from being captured/killed. He could have done likewise here. I am convinced it was for other reasons.