Monday, March 19, 2012

Acts 9:7-9

Summary retelling of Acts 9: 7-9:

The companions of Saul heard the same voice that Saul heard, but they didn’t see anyone.  They were speechless about what seemed to be happening around them.  Saul picked himself up off of the ground and realized that he was blind.  He was led by the hand into Damascus.  Saul neither ate nor drank after this experience {Well, for three days, until Ananias comes for him.}

Thoughts for Today:
First Thought:
 Saul’s companions were speechless.  Wouldn’t you be?  I can’t say that I blame them for having nothing to say when Saul drops to the ground and this voice booms out of nowhere.  To their credit, they stay beside Saul!  If I saw a guy I was with get knocked to the ground by an unseen power that is feeling particularly persecuted, I think I might want to distance myself from the guy who’s on the ground.

What kind of courage did it take to stand by Saul in the midst of his encounter with Jesus?  Do you have that kind of courage to stand by others as they are attacked?

Second Thought:
Saul didn’t move until the conversation was over.  We aren’t told that he got up until after Jesus was done speaking.  This may have been Saul being submissive to the unseen power, but more than likely it was Saul having no choice in the matter.  The presence of God is so powerful and so all-encompassing that we seem like nothing in His presence.

How does this story affect your image of God?

Third Thought:
Saul didn’t eat or drink while in the turmoil.  Saul is likely doing a voluntary fast.  Saul has just felt the power of God and heard that God thought he was behaving badly.  Saul had a lot on his mind and he had more than a few things that he needed to sort out.  By fasting, Saul can let his hunger remind him of the fact that he has some spiritual growth to accomplish.  By fasting, Saul can let his hunger remind him that he needs to hunger for God’s truth, not the truth that he has made up in his own image.

Have you ever fasted meaningfully?  What was your experience with fasting?

Passage for Tomorrow: Acts 9:10-12
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