The believers who had been scattered preached the word everywhere they went.
~Acts 8:4, NIrV
Malice is a boomerang, it is apt to turn upon the projector.
~William Makepeace Thackeray
Most of us understand the original definition of a “Backfire”; it is a mistimed explosion in the cylinder or exhaust of an engine. However, the term is also used to describe situations that have the opposite effect to what was intended. Paul intended to destroy the church. This was also the intention of the Jewish hierarchy in Jerusalem but the murder of Stephen and Paul’s assault on the house churches had the reverse effect; what they intended for evil, God changed to good. Instead of destroying the church, they caused the church to spread like a wild fire. Sometimes when you are fighting a wildfire, you strike down at the flame and in doing so, you create a wind that drives the flames to other places, igniting new fires. The more you fight it, the more it spreads. This was the case for Saul and the Sanhedrin. They did God a favor and didn’t realize what they were doing.
There are multiple lessons to be learned from the text:
- Those who fight against God, do so in vain.
- God is the Magnificent Maestro, the Celestial Conductor, He orchestrates–He works His sovereign plan in spite of man’s resistance. God used Paul before and after he was saved which means the glory goes to God and not to Paul.
- God has the ability to bring good out of evil. Persecuting Christians is evil but God brought good out of it.
Speaking of God turning things around: remember the story of Joseph. His brothers betrayed him, sold him into slavery with him pleading and begging them not to do so. These boys were evil, they planned to harm him but God used it for good. He used Joseph to save two nations. The very one they tried to destroy became their life line, their savior. Joseph literally kept them from dying. Just like Paul: he tried to destroy the church and wipe out the name of Jesus. Then by the providence and grace of God, the very One Saul sought to destroy became his Savior.
THIS DAY IN 2000
Did a devotion at Magnolia Manner in Decatur: Mrs. Bea Goodrich was a resident there at the time. Joe David got his diploma in the mail from the University of Alabama. He had graduated a few weeks earlier in December of 1999.
Continuing to enjoy this great weather and semi-retirement. June got some of my books moved yesterday and she will probably work on my office today while I am at E-Tech. I’m a nervous wreck from E-Tech and a heck of a Go-for. God is good, I have no complaints. June and I drove to Pulaski, Tennessee yesterday evening: her cousin’s husband was promoted after a long illness. We went through West Limestone and picked up June’s brother who lives just 7 miles South of Minor Hill. From Minor Hill, you take Highway 11 into Pulaski. It is a beautiful drive in spring. We had not been to Pulaski since Hugh was in the Nursing Home there for a month or so. That’s been at least 5 years back or more.