Saul has become an adamant supporter of Jesus Christ since his conversion. In our reading today we see how his previous supporters feel about that.
When Saul originally set out for Damascus the traditional Jews in that area were overjoyed. Those believing in Jesus had spread to their city. They were sharing the gospel and people were becoming believers in Jesus at every turn. The religious leaders wanted help stopping this ‘infection.’ Saul was their champion. He was going to stem the tide and turn the people back to the old ways.
With Saul’s conversion to the very group he was sent to eradicate their hopes were dashed. At first they tried arguing him back onto the straight and narrow but he defeated them on every front. They probably even tried to ignore his zealous presentation of the gospel thinking he would soon tire of it.
Now they have had enough! Saul not only continues to share his testimony but he has even begun training disciples of his own. These men were learning to emulate Saul in all he did, including his zeal for sharing the gospel. Something HAD to be done!
A plot was hatched to kill Saul. They didn’t want to do it inside the city as that could expose them. They waited and watched the city gates “day and night” waiting for him to leave the safety of its walls. Once out in the open ‘any number of things could happen to a person.’
God has plans for Saul. He told him so in the beginning of his walk with Him. He is to bring the gospel to the Gentiles. So we know that nothing the Jews try is going to stop God’s plans. Saul gets word of the plot and his disciples sneak him out of the city. They hide him in a basket and lower him through an opening in the wall.
I wonder if Saul thought this a good idea or if he wanted to stay and face those plotting against him. He certainly didn’t see any reason to change his zeal in the face of their objections. Saul also didn’t stop sharing after this first attempt on his life. We will see tomorrow that he gets in the same kind of trouble again for his outspoken support of Jesus. If someone is looking to kill you this would be the BEST reason I could ever think of; for sharing Jesus with everyone you met.
Lord Jesus, thank You for protecting Saul. You used him to ultimately reach me. You also kept Your promise to use him. I know I can ALWAYS take You at Your word and so did Saul. Maybe that was why he wasn’t afraid to share his testimony and the truth about You. He knew You had plans for his life and trusted You to finish those plans before letting him come home.
What plans do You have for me to finish? I know there are some, even if they are simply loving and caring for my family. Sometimes I think I want to know Your plans for me but then I think about how that knowledge might be a problem for me. I would either get a big head or feel overwhelmed. I think it’s probably best if You just show me one day at a time. Not knowing gives me less assurance of my place that Saul had but it makes it easier to simply wait and see where we will go next. Whatever Your plans are for me I know I can trust You to bring them about, in YOUR time.