Saturday, December 29, 2012

Advent Archive: Acts 9

Many times we see our enemies, and read the imprecatory prayers of David in the Psalms. Quickly we become judge and jury and plead our case before God for the swift and deft destruction of those who stand in our way. We view our aims as the ultimate and ourselves as the only holy servants of God. Any who oppose, must be ministers of Satan, whether government officials, or leaders of other religions, or pagan God-haters. However, when you read Acts 9, God presents you with a paradox. It comes on the heels of Jesus’ teaching “pray for them which despitefully use you.”  Quickly, we agree and say “yeah, pray that they choke on their food and die!” But the portrait of redemption painted in Acts 9 says something completely different. You see, for years Saul butchered Christians. He was good at it, so good, that scripture said he “wreaked havoc” on the church. However, God saw fit not to smite Saul dead in his tracks on the way to Damascus, rather, the greatest glory to God came when God smote him down and called him to Himself. Where most Christians would pray for the defeat and destruction of Saul, God was concerned with his conversion. You see, our flaw is in seeing Saul and men like him as our enemy. However, they are not. They and all men are God’s enemies, and while God gets great glory while laughing as the banal attempts to overthrow Him by His enemies, God also is extremely concerned with reconciling His enemies to Himself. This is the point of the gospel. It is about time we start treating others the right way and pray for their repentance not their destruction.
 Food For Thought: What should be our reaction to those who we consider to be our enemies?