And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance; And saw him saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me. And I said, Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue them that believed on thee: Acts 22:17-19
As we read in the past Chapters, God has been warning Paul about coming to Jerusalem, yet he insisted on going there anyway. However now The Lord decided to step in and tell Paul, “Get out of Jerusalem”! I think Paul finally got the message, however now God is gonna have to save him from the Romans and the Jews, as Paul has the whole city of Jerusalem stirred up for preaching the gospel
Can we relate to this? When the Holy Spirit keeps telling us to do this or not do this, but we don’t listen, we end up creating a disaster for ourselves. God knows alot more than we can ever know, we need to be obedient and put our faith and trust in Him
And when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of them that slew him. And he said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles. And they gave him audience unto this word, and then lifted up their voices, and said, Away with such a fellow from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live. Acts 22:20-22
Paul still felt guilty for the murder of Stephen, he still takes the blame for his death. However we must all remember , that God has forgiven us of our sins through the Lord Jesus Christ. Sometimes its harder to forgive ourselves than for God to forgive us. But God had a bigger plan for Paul, to preach the gospel to the Gentiles, the New Covenant!
And as they cried out, and cast off their clothes, and threw dust into the air, The chief captain commanded him to be brought into the castle, and bade that he should be examined by scourging; that he might know wherefore they cried so against him. And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said unto the centurion that stood by, Is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a Roman, and uncondemned? When the centurion heard that, he went and told the chief captain, saying, Take heed what thou doest: for this man is a Roman. Acts 22:23-26
While things looked bad for Paul, God still had a plan for his life and delivered him. Even though Paul was a Jew , he was also a Roman Citizen, this actually saved his life. Once the centurion realized Paul was a Roman Citizen they saved him from being killed by the Jews
God works in mysterious ways, even when we don’t see a way, God can make a way. God had a bigger plan for Pauls life and used him as a vessel to preach the gospel to the Gentiles Amen!