Daily Devotional: Monday 18th May

by William Moody

Acts 18:9–17

And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, 10 for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.” 11 And he stayed a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.

12 But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews1 made a united attack on Paul and brought him before the tribunal, 13 saying, “This man is persuading people to worship God contrary to the law.” 14 But when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, “If it were a matter of wrongdoing or vicious crime, O Jews, I would have reason to accept your complaint. 15 But since it is a matter of questions about words and names and your own law, see to it yourselves. I refuse to be a judge of these things.” 16 And he drove them from the tribunal. 17 And they all seized Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue, and beat him in front of the tribunal. But Gallio paid no attention to any of this.

Footnotes

[1] 18:12 Greek Ioudaioi probably refers here to Jewish religious leaders, and others under their influence, in that time; also verses 14 (twice), 28

(ESV)

As we think of the apostle Paul, we need to realise that he was a man with concerns and fears like us. The opposition he faced didn’t just go off him like water of a duck’s back.

Paul needed reassurance and we see here wonderful encouragement from the Lord (v9-10). At this stage there were not many believers. The many people were those whom God had chosen for salvation who would come to faith in the future through God’s irresistible grace.

As we seek to share the gospel this is our great encouragement, God has many people whom He has chosen for salvation who will be brought to salvation, even through our feeble efforts.

Paul needed this encouragement to persevere for a year and a half (v11). After that time Paul faced renewed opposition from the Jews (v12-13), but Gallio the proconsul would not get involved (v14-16).

Today we need to pray for wise leadership in government and in the courts so that God’s people are treated fairly (see 1 Timothy 2 v1-2). Opposition comes, but God often uses fair-minded unbelievers to protect His people.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®),
copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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