Consequences And Themes In Robert Frosts The Road Not Taken
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The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost - Analysis
But there was always an edge of desperation about it, a demand. As though he owed her. As though she was dying and he was the medicine. Enid left him drained, and yet still feeling inadequate. But Annie was gentler. More generous. Like her father, she listened carefully and quietly. With Enid he never talked about his work, and she never asked. With Annie he told her everything.
He told her what they found, how they felt, and who they arrested. Beauvoir nodded and chewed and saw the Chief Inspector in the dim cabin. Whispering the story. So as the two homicide investigators deftly searched, Chief Inspector Gamache had told Beauvoir about the bathmat. And somehow deciding a bathmat was the perfect hostess gift. Her mother never tired of asking either. Her father, on the other hand, decided I was an imbecile and never mentioned it again. That was worse. When they died we found the bathmat in their linen closet, still in its plastic wrapping, with the card attached. Beauvoir stopped talking and looked across at Annie.
She smelled fresh and clean. Like a citron grove in the warm sunshine. No makeup. She wore warm slippers and loose, comfortable clothing. Annie was aware of fashion, and happy to be fashionable. But happier to be comfortable. She was not slim. She was not a stunning beauty. But Annie knew something most people never learn. She knew how great it was to be alive. It had taken him almost forty years, but Jean-Guy Beauvoir finally understood it too.
And knew now there was no greater beauty. Annie was approaching thirty now. Had made him part of the team, and eventually, over the years, part of the family. Though even the Chief Inspector had no idea how much a part of the family Beauvoir had become. She held up the plunger, with its cheery red bow. Would die together. In a home that smelled of fresh citron and coffee. And had a cat curled around the sunshine. But hearing it now, it just seemed natural. As though this was always the plan. To have children.
To grow old together. Beauvoir did the math. He was ten years older than her, and would almost certainly die first. He was relieved. But there was something troubling him. Annie grew quiet, and picked at her croissant. Just us. You know? He could never stop them, but it would be a disaster. The Chief and Madame Gamache will be happy. Very happy. But he wanted to be sure. To know. It was in his nature. He collected facts for a living, and this uncertainty was taking its toll. It was the only shadow in a life suddenly, unexpectedly luminous. But in his heart it felt like a betrayal. She leaned toward him, her elbows and forearms resting on the croissant flakes on the pine table, and took his hand. She held it warm in hers. My father would be so happy. Seeing the look on his face she laughed and squeezed his hand.
She adores you. Always has. They think of you as family, you know. As another son. She just held his hand and looked into his eyes. Annie paused, thinking. Dad spends his life looking for clues, piecing things together. Gathering evidence. Too close, I guess. One of the first lessons he teaches new recruits. The phone rang. Not the robust peal of the landline, but the cheerful, invasive trill of a cell. He ran to the bedroom and grabbed it off the nightstand.
No number was displayed, just a word. He almost hit the small green phone icon, then hesitated. It managed to be both relaxed and authoritative. It was on a Saturday morning. An invitation to dinner. A query about staffing or a case going to trial. This was a call to arms. A call to action. A call that marked something dreadful had happened. And raced. And even danced a little. Not with joy at the knowledge of a terrible and premature death.
But knowing he and the Chief and others would be on the trail again. Jean-Guy Beauvoir loved his job. But now, for the first time, he looked into the kitchen, and saw Annie standing in the doorway. Watching him. And he realized, with surprise, that he now loved something more. And just the two of us for now. Should she come? Just to organize the Scene of Crime team and leave? Hope you remember how to do it. All the way from downtown?
Beauvoir felt the world stop for a moment. Not much traffic. Gamache laughed. And he did, placing calls, issuing orders, organizing. Then he threw a few clothes into an overnight bag. Even for a woman who cherished reality, this was far too real. She laughed, and he was glad. At the door he stopped and lowered his case to the ground. Once he was gone and she could no longer see the back of his car, Annie Gamache closed the door and held her hand to her chest. She wondered if this was how her mother had felt, for all those years. How her mother felt at that very moment.
Was she too leaning against the door, having watched her heart leave? Having let it go. Then Annie walked over to the bookcases lining her living room. After a few minutes she found what she was looking for. She and Jean-Guy would present them with their own white bibles, with their names and baptism dates inscribed. She looked at the thick first page. Sure enough, there was her name. And a date. But instead of a cross underneath her name her parents had drawn two little hearts. Copyright by Three Pines Creations, Inc. She could see shadows, shapes, like wraiths moving back and forth, back and forth across the frosted glass.
Appearing and disappearing. Distorted, but still human. Still the dead one lay moaning. The words had been going through her head all day, appearing and disappearing. A poem, half remembered. Words floating to the surface, then going under. The body of the poem beyond her grasp. The blurred figures at the far end of the long corridor seemed almost liquid, or smoke. There, but insubstantial.
This was it. The end of the journey. How often had they come to the MAC to marvel at some new exhibition? To support a friend, a fellow artist? Or to just sit quietly in the middle of the sleek gallery, in the middle of a weekday, when the rest of the city was at work? Art was their work. But it was more than that. It had to be. Otherwise, why put up with all those years of solitude? Of failure? Of silence from a baffled and even bemused art world?
She and Peter had worked away, every day, in their small studios in their small village, leading their tiny lives. But still yearning for more. Clara took a few more steps down the long, long, white marble hallway. Her first dream as a child, her last dream that morning, almost fifty years later, was at the far end of the hard white hallway. He was by far the more successful artist, with his exquisite studies of life in close-up. So detailed, and so close that a piece of the natural world appeared distorted and abstract. Peter took what was natural and made it appear unnatural. People ate it up. Thank God. It kept food on the table and the wolves, while constantly circling their little home in Three Pines, were kept from the door.
Thanks to Peter and his art. Clara glanced at him walking slightly ahead of her, a smile on his handsome face. She knew most people, on first meeting them, never took her for his wife. Instead they assumed some slim executive with a white wine in her elegant hand was his mate. An example of natural selection. Of like moving to like. The distinguished artist with the head of graying hair and noble features could not possibly have chosen the woman with the beer in her boxing glove hands.
And the studio full of sculptures made out of old tractor parts and paintings of cabbages with wings. Peter Morrow could not have chosen her. That would have been unnatural. Clara would have smiled had she not been fairly certain she was about to throw up. Oh, no no no, she thought again as she watched Peter march purposefully toward the closed door and the art wraiths waiting to pass judgment. On her. But mostly she wanted to turn and flee, to hide. To stumble back down the long, long, light-filled, art-filled, marble-filled hallway.
And this is where it led. Someone had lied. She walked down this corridor. Composed and collected. Beautiful and slim. Witty and popular. Into the waiting arms of an adoring world. There was no terror. No nausea. No creatures glimpsed through the frosted glass, waiting to devour her. Dissect her. Diminish her, and her creations. Had not told her something else might be waiting.
Oh, no no no, thought Clara. What was the rest of the poem? Why did it elude her? Now, within feet of the end of her journey all she wanted to do was run away home to Three Pines. To open the wooden gate. To race up the path lined with apple trees in spring bloom. To slam their front door shut behind her. To lean against it. To lock it. To press her body against it, and keep the world out. She realized she was holding her breath and wondered for how long. To make up for it she started breathing rapidly.
Peter was talking but his voice was muffled, far away. Drowned out by the shrieking in her head, and the pounding in her chest. And the noise building behind the doors. As they got closer. Clara opened her hand and dropped her purse. It fell with a plop to the floor, since it was all but empty, containing simply a breath mint and the tiny paint brush from the first paint-by-number set her grandmother had given her.
Clara dropped to her knees, pretending to gather up invisible items and stuff them into her clutch. She lowered her head, trying to catch her breath, and wondered if she was about to pass out. Clara stared from the purse on the gleaming marble floor to the man crouched across from her. He was kneeling beside her, watching, his kind eyes life preservers thrown to a drowning woman. She held them. His voice was calm. This was their own private crisis.
Their own private rescue. Not missing her right away. Not noticing his wife was kneeling on the floor. Seeing his silky blond hair, and the lines only visible very close up. More lines than a thirty-eight-year-old man should have. Go back home. The dew heavy under her rubber boots. The early roses and late peonies damp and fragrant. Not once had she imagined herself collapsed on the floor. In terror. Longing to leave. To go back to the garden. But Olivier was right. Not yet. Oh, no no no. They were the only way home now. Clara laughed, and exhaled. And in that instant the body of the poem surfaced. The rest of it was revealed.
I was much too far out all my life. From far off Armand Gamache could hear the sound of children playing. He knew where it was coming from. He sometimes liked to sit there and pretend the shouts and laughter came from his young grandchildren, Florence and Zora. He imagined his son Daniel and Roslyn were in the park, watching their children. Or he and Reine-Marie would join them. And play catch, or conkers. But mostly he just listened to the shouts and shrieks and laughter of neighborhood children. And smiled. And relaxed. His wife, Reine-Marie, sat across from him on their balcony. She too had a cold beer on this unexpectedly warm day in mid-June. But her copy of La Presse was folded on the table and she stared into the distance. He was silent for a moment, watching her.
Her hair was quite gray now, but then, so was his. He was glad. Like him, she was in her mid-fifties. And this was what a couple of that age looked like. If they were lucky. Not like models. No one would mistake them for that. But that too would be a mistake. Books were everywhere in their large apartment. Placed in orderly bookcases. Just about every table had at least one book on it, and often several magazines. And the weekend newspapers were scattered on the coffee table in the living room, in front of the fireplace. The shelves were packed with case histories, with books on medicine and forensics, with tomes on Napoleonic and common law, fingerprinting, genetic coding, wounds and weapons.
But still, even among the death, space was made for books on philosophy and poetry. Not socially. Not academically. But he could never shake the suspicion he had gotten very, very lucky. Unless it was the extraordinary stroke of luck that she should also love him. Now she turned her blue eyes on him. It was five past five. Their son-in-law was half an hour late and Gamache glanced inside their apartment.
He could just barely make out his daughter Annie sitting in the living room reading, and across from her was his second in command, Jean Guy Beauvoir. Jean Guy and Annie were ignoring each other. Gamache smiled slightly. Gamache nodded and picked up the magazine, then he lowered it slowly. Reine-Marie hesitated then smiled. Armand raised his brow in surprise. Awkward, gawky, bossy. And now he was nearing forty and she was nearing thirty. A lawyer. Still awkward and gawky and bossy. She looked as though she was genuinely glad to see them. As though they were important.
Eyes shining. Only once. In the hospital. Fought through the pain and the dark to that foreign but gentle touch. That bird-like grip he would not have come back for. But this hand was large, and certain, and warm. And it invited him back. And then he knew why. Because she had nowhere else to be. No other hospital bed to sit beside. Because her father was dead. Killed by a gunman in the abandoned factory. Beauvoir had seen it happen. Seen Gamache hit. Seen him lifted off his feet and fall to the concrete floor.
And now Annie Gamache was holding his hand in the hospital, because the hand she really wanted to be holding was gone. Jean Guy Beauvoir had pried his eyes open and seen Annie Gamache looking so sad. And his heart broke. Then he saw something else. No one had ever looked at him that way. With unconcealed and unbound joy. It was slightly citrony. Clean and fresh. Annie smelled like a lemon grove in summer. There were many humiliations waiting for him in the hospital.
From bedpans and diapers to sponge baths. But none was more personal, more intimate, more of a betrayal than what his broken body did then. And Annie saw. And Annie never mentioned it from that day to this. That was how it had felt. The shove. Very, very slowly Annie lowered her newspaper. And glared at him. And now he felt the words strike. Travel deep and explode. It was almost comforting, he realized. The pain. Your separation. As a lawyer you should know that. Then she nodded.
It makes you think about your life. Would you like to talk about it? Talk about Enid with Annie? All the petty sordid squabbles, the tiny slights, the scarring and scabbing. The thought revolted him and he must have shown it. He searched for something to say, some small bridge, a jetty back to her. The minutes stretched by, elongating. It was the first thing that popped into his hollow head, like the Magic Eight Ball, that when it stopped being shaken produced a single word.
Still her face was expressionless. She raised the newspaper again. The Canadian dollar was strong, he read from across the room. Winter potholes still unfixed, he read. An investigation into government corruption, he read. The newspaper slowly dropped. She was talking to him again. Her father was the bridge. Annie dropped her paper onto the table and glanced beyond Beauvoir to her parents talking quietly on the balcony. She was never going to be the most beautiful woman in the room. That much was obvious even then. Annie was not fine-boned or delicate. She was more athletic than graceful. She cared about clothes, but she also cared about comfort. Opinionated, strong-willed, strong physically.
With Enid he would never consider trying. And she would never offer. Annie Gamache had not only offered, but had fully expected to win. Where other women, including Enid, were lovely, Annie Gamache was alive. Late, too late, Jean Guy Beauvoir had come to appreciate how very important it was, how very attractive it was, how very rare it was, to be fully alive. Annie looked back at Beauvoir. Beauvoir lowered his voice. Annie leaned forward. They were a couple of feet apart and Beauvoir could just smell her scent.
It was all he could do not to take her hands in his. Seems like a cottage industry there. Despite himself, Beauvoir laughed. Beauvoir smiled and nodded. And then your father said it. Annie smiled. I was the only kid in school who quoted Leigh Hunt. Gamache smiled as he heard the laughter from the living room. He cocked his head in their direction. Since his separation from Enid, Jean Guy had seemed distant. And his narrow drawbridge had been raised. Armand Gamache knew no good ever came from putting up walls. What people mistook for safety was in fact captivity. And few things thrived in captivity. But privately he wondered. He knew time could heal. But it could also do more damage.
A forest fire, spread over time, would consume everything. Gamache, with one last look at the two younger people, continued his conversation with Reine-Marie. She considered for a moment. Gamache nodded and thought for a moment. I suppose it might be awkward. In fact, it was said quietly and gently. Feelings he himself might not even be aware he had. A face now clean-shaven. No more moustache. No more graying beard. Just Armand. He looked at her with his deep brown eyes. And as she held them she could almost forget the scar above his left temple. After a moment his smile faded and he nodded again, taking a deep breath.
A natural setting. He so yearned for that, since his days were filled with hunting the unnatural. People who took the lives of others. Often in gruesome and dreadful ways. He was very good at his job. It was in all the papers. But he never mentioned that someone involved might still hate him. We investigated and the evidence seemed overwhelming. All of it hidden in the bistro. We arrested Olivier. He was tried and convicted. Beauvoir nodded. Did someone else confess? You remember a few months ago, after that raid on the factory? When your father was recovering in Quebec City?
Jean Guy nodded. Though he himself had no such doubts. He believed the right man was in prison. The real murderer. And the real reason for the killing. Not since all this had happened. Gamache was quiet. Seeing the sun gleaming off snowbanks. Through the frosted panes of glass he could see the villagers gathered in the bistro. Warm and safe. The cheery fires lit. The laughter. And Olivier, stalled. Two feet from the closed door. Staring at it.
Jean Guy had gone to open it, but Gamache had lain a gloved hand on his arm. For Olivier to make the move. After what seemed an age, but was probably only a few heartbeats, Olivier reached out, paused for one more moment, then opened the door. But he knew that no matter how much ecstasy Reine-Marie imagined, the reality was even greater.
The rest of the villagers were elated to see Olivier too. And it turned out that Olivier had used the stolen money to secretly buy up a lot of property in Three Pines. Dad got him out of prison. He took him back to Three Pines. Your father put him in. Annie stared at Beauvoir, then shook her head. Beauvoir went on. In front of everyone in the bistro. He told Olivier he was sorry for what he did. Annie thought about that. Beauvoir knew the only thing worse than no apology was an insincere one.
Jean Guy had to give Olivier that. Instead of appearing to accept the apology, Olivier had finally told the truth. The hurt went too deep. Up the stairs they raced, taking them two at a time, trying to be as quiet as possible. Gamache struggled to keep his breathing steady, as though he was sitting at home, as though he had not a care in the world. You must believe me, son. Nothing bad will happen to you. He hoped the young agent couldnt hear the strain in his voice, the flattening as the Chief Inspector fought to keep his voice authoritative, certain.
They reached the landing. Inspector Beauvoir stopped, staring at his Chief. Gamache looked at his watch. In his headphones the agent was telling him about the sunshine and how good it felt on his face. The rest of the team made the landing, tactical vests in place, automatic weapons drawn, eyes sharp. Trained on the Chief. Beside him Inspector Beauvoir was also waiting for a decision. Which way? They were close. Within feet of their quarry. Gamache stared down one dark, dingy corridor in the abandoned factory then down the other. They looked identical. Light scraped through the broken, grubby windows lining the halls and with it came the December day. He pointed decisively to the left and they ran, silently, toward the door at the end.
As he ran Gamache gripped his rifle and spoke calmly into the headset. Theres forty seconds left, sir. Each word was exhaled as though the man on the other end was having difficulty breathing. Just listen to me, said Gamache, thrusting his hand toward a door. The team surged ahead. I wont let anything happen to you, said Gamache, his voice convincing, commanding, daring the young agent to contradict.
Youll be having dinner with your family tonight. The tactical team surrounded the closed door with its frosted, filthy window. Gamache paused, staring at it, his hand hanging in the air ready to give the signal to break it down. To rescue his agent. Beside him Beauvoir strained, waiting to be loosed. Too late, Chief Inspector Gamache realized hed made a mistake. Avec le temps? Gamache returned the older mans smile and made a fist of his right hand.
To stop the trembling. A tremble so slight he was certain the waitress in the Quebec City caf hadnt noticed. The two students across the way tapping on their laptops wouldnt notice. No one would notice. Except someone very close to him. He looked at mile Comeau, crumbling a flaky croissant with sure hands. He was nearing eighty now, Gamaches mentor and former chief. His hair was white and groomed, his eyes through his glasses a sharp blue. He was slender and energetic, even now. Though with each visit Armand Gamache noticed a slight softening about the face, a slight slowing of the movements. Widowed five years, mile Comeau knew the power, and length, of time. Gamaches own wife, Reine-Marie, had left at dawn that morning after spending a week with them at miles stone home within the old walled city of Qubec.
Theyd had quiet dinners together in front of the fire, theyd walked the narrow snow-covered streets. Were silent. Read the papers, discussed events. The three of them. Four, if you counted their German shepherd, Henri. And most days Gamache had gone off on his own to a local library, to read. And then it was time for her to leave. After saying good-bye to mile she turned to her husband. Tall, solid, a man who preferred good books and long walks to any other activity, he looked more like a distinguished professor in his mid-fifties than the head of the most prestigious homicide unit in Canada.
The Sret du Qubec. He walked her to her car, scraping the morning ice from the windshield. You dont have to go, you know, he said, smiling down at her as they stood in the brittle, new day. Henri sat in a snow bank nearby and watched. I know. But you and mile need time together. I could see how you were looking at each other. The longing? Id hoped wed been more discreet. A wife always knows. She smiled, looking into his deep brown eyes.
He wore a hat, but still she could see his graying hair, and the slight curl where it came out from under the fabric. And his beard. Shed slowly become used to the beard. For years hed had a moustache, but just lately, since it happened, hed grown the trim beard. She paused. Should she say it? It was never far from her mind now, from her mouth. The words she knew were useless, if any words could be described as that. Certainly she knew they could not make the thing happen. If they could she would surround him with them, encase him with her words. Come home when you can, she said instead, her voice light. He kissed her. I will.
In a few days, a week at the most. Call me when you get there. She got into the car. Reputation is what others think is true about you, while character is what God's knows is true about you! In Timothy's case his character and reputation were essentially the same. Our English word for that is integrity which means an undivided or unbroken completeness or totality with nothing wanting. Integrity speaks of of consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations, and outcomes. Think of the related word integer from Latin integer and means "intact, whole, complete," figuratively, "untainted, upright," literally "untouched," What you saw on Timothy on the outside was a perfect reflection of what was on the inside.
Synonyms of integrity - honesty, uprightness, probity, rectitude, honor, honorableness, upstandingness, good character, principle s , ethics, morals, righteousness, morality, nobility, high-mindedness, right-mindedness, noble-mindedness, virtue, decency, fairness, scrupulousness, sincerity, truthfulness, trustworthiness. Well spoken of matureo refers to a human declaration of ascertainable facts based on firsthand knowledge or experience and in the present context refers to a good report or having a good reputation.
Paul received a "good report" on Timothy. Matureo is in the imperfect tense which depicts others as giving a good testimony of Timothy, over and over, one after another related to Paul regarding his reputation. And all were speaking well of Him, and wondering at the gracious words which were falling from His lips; and they were saying, "Is this not Joseph's son? Martureo is also used of the criteria that were to be true of men who would serve the church…. But select from among you, brethren, seven men of good reputation , full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task. Robertson comments that "Already Timothy had so borne himself that his gifts and graces for the ministry were recognized.
It is a wise precaution that the approval of the local church is necessary for the licensing and the ordaining of a preacher. If God has called a man for the work signs of it will be manifest to others. By the brethren who were in Lystra and Iconium - Brethren refers to the Christian brethren, those who share a common birth, the new birth. Notice that Timothy's reputation was known not only in his hometown of Lystra, but in nearby Iconium. Lystra was about 20 miles south of Iconium about a normal day's travel in the Roman Empire at this time. How was he known in Iconium? Luke does not tell us but clearly it is in a spiritual context. Jews used adelphos to describe fellow countrymen Acts In Paul's last letter to Timothy he reminds his young disciple who might have been a bit "timid" - see 2 Ti of what happened to him at Lystra and Iconium writing.
Kitto - Daily Bible Illustrations - Timothy—Acts —3 In contemplating the journey before him, Paul probably felt that the absence of Barnabas would be likely to place him at some disadvantage; for not only had Barnabas been with him as an equal laborer in the previous visit to the same places, but the name of Barnabas was joined in commission with his own in the apostolic decree, at least so far as regarded the authoritative promulgation of the decree to the churches.
The wise providence of God had, however, provided for this exigency by the fact that one of the two distinguished persons who had been sent by the church at Jerusalem to Antioch, with Paul and Barnabas, as vouchers for the decree, in which they are, indeed, expressly named, still remained at Antioch. This was Silas; and it is at once apparent, even to us, that this was the most suitable person to be his companion for the intended journey, whom it could be well possible to find as a substitute for Barnabas. He was a leading man in the church; he was endowed with special gifts; the church at Jerusalem had avouched his character and qualifications; and Paul had been enough in his company to know that he should find in him a valuable coadjutor.
That journey, though it included all the places where churches had been founded in the former missionary tour with Barnabas, became much more extensive than had been originally contemplated. It commenced, however, by the intended visitation of the churches formerly established. They were, however, visited in a reverted order, those being first reached which had been established last in the previous journey. These were, no doubt, churches which had been of earlier establishment. Their names are not given, but we may be allowed to suppose that on this occasion Paul once more saw his native city of Tarsus. They then passed into Lycaonia, lying to the north of Cilicia, and we find them once more at Derbe; but of the circumstances of this, any more than of the former visit to this town, no particulars are given.
They now proceeded on their way, and passing the gate before which was the temple or image of Jupiter, stood within the streets of Lystra, where Paul had been first worshipped as a god, and then stoned as an offender. All that is recorded at this place relates to the acquisition of an addition to the missionary party, in the person of a young convert named Timothy. This youth seems to have been a native of Lystra—the son of a Jewish mother, but of a Greek father. What Timothy had heard from Paul, what he had witnessed of his conduct, the example he had so unostentatiously offered of valor for the truth, could hardly fail to make the most profound and salutary impression upon a mind so youthfully impressible as his.
It was nutritive; and blessed by the Divine Spirit, it so ministered to his spiritual growth, that by the time Paul had now come back, he had become a marked person in the esteem of the brethren in this and the neighboring towns, particularly at Iconium. Paul heard of this before he again saw him, and the tidings filled his heart with joy. Before, however, Paul took Timothy with him, he thought proper to subject him to the initiatory Jewish rite. This has occasioned some perplexity, seeing that not long ago Paul had very firmly, and with the sanction of the apostles of the circumcision, resisted the attempts made to impose this rite upon Titus. Some of the early Christian writers made much of this difficulty, and could not surmount it but by supposing that a similar concession had subsequently been made in the case of Titus—a most unwarrantable and wholly needless supposition.
The cases were altogether different, and sufficient to explain and justify a difference of procedure. Titus was wholly a Greek; and the object in his case was to withstand false teachers, and protect the flock from their requisitions. In the case of Timothy, the object was to procure admission for him into the synagogues in which the Gospel had not yet been preached, and with which Paul had to connect his labors but to which he could not otherwise have had access. Paul testifies of himself that to the Jews he became a Jew, to win those who would not else be won. Of Timothy he asked no more than this: and he was entitled to ask it; for, according to the Jewish rules, the child should follow the mother, so that the son of a mixed marriage, whose mother was a Jewess, should be circumcised, otherwise and the Roman Catholic Church now makes similar conditions the marriage would not have been recognized by the Jewish law.
This had been neglected in the case of Timothy, probably from the opposition of the father. The Jews of the neighborhood must have been aware of this; and he would not have been admitted among them had not Paul made good the omission. Acts Paul wanted this man to go with him; and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those parts, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. KJV Acts Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek.
NET Acts Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him, and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was Greek. NLT Acts so Paul wanted him to join them on their journey. In deference to the Jews of the area, he arranged for Timothy to be circumcised before they left, for everyone knew that his father was a Greek. ESV Acts Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him, and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. CSB Acts Paul wanted Timothy to go with him, so he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those places, since they all knew that his father was a Greek.
NIV Acts Paul wanted to take him along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. Paul wanted this man to go with him - This man touton is literally "this one" and is first in the sentence for emphasis. As noted above Timothy had a good reputation not only in Lystra but also in Iconium. He had a believing mother and grandmother who were Jewish and a Greek father. One has to believe that Paul did not just rely on the excellent external markers, but that he also prayed for guidance and was led to seek out this man for his missionary service.
And Timothy would have had no delusions of grandeur about some great, exciting missionary adventure, for he had either witnessed first hand or had certainly heard the stories about Paul being stoned for preaching the Gospel. In short Timothy would have counted the cost of partnering with Paul and yet it did not deter him from joining the team. Barclay writes that Paul "was always well aware of the necessity of training a new generation for the work and for the days that lay ahead. Wanted t helo see derivative thelema ; synonyms boule and boulomai is a very common NT verb x which primarily refers to exercising of one's will with the underlying sense of to be willing, to desire, to want or to wish in Jn in context of prayer.
Thelo "expresses not simply a desire, but a determined and constant exercise of the will. Blailock adds that "The preoccupation with character in those who assume Christian leadership is a marked feature of the story of the early Church [Acts , , , Vincent on go with him - The word - exerchomai is used of going forth as a missionary in Luke ; 3 John 7. Took him and circumcised him see study of circumcision - Paul circumcised Timothy for anyone could perform this rite.
The Jerusalem council had declared that circumcision was not necessary for salvation or for acceptance into the Christian church. However because of Timothy's Jewish background it seemed expedient in his case in order to enlarge his local usefulness even as Paul declared in his letter to Corinth…. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, that I may by all means save some. And I do all things for the sake of the gospel, that I may become a fellow partaker of it. In Col Paul is using the well known procedure of circumcision not to describe the physical act but to describe spiritual circumcision " without hands " that is wrought by the Spirit and results in spiritual rebirth.
Paul used the concept of circumcision similarly in Romans , addressing the Jews who had the Law and physical circumcision and yet transgressed the Law, because they were not spiritually circumcised. To reiterate, nowhere does Luke state that Paul circumcised Timothy in order to be saved, but simply because of the Jews who were in those parts. It is a wise spiritual leader who knows how and when to apply the principles of the Word of God, when to stand firm and when to yield. NET Note - Paul's cultural sensitivity showed in his action here. He did not want Timothy's lack of circumcision to become an issue 1 Cor — In the case of Gentile Titus, Paul insisted that he not be circumcised because the Judaizers insisted on circumcision as necessary for salvation, a false doctrine to which Paul would not acquiesce.
Paul writes…. But not even Titus who was with me, though he was a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised. But it was because of the false brethren who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage. But we did not yield in subjection to them for even an hour, so that the truth of the gospel might remain with you. Galatians note. John MacArthur explains that "Circumcision was the sine qua non of Judaism.
Had Timothy not been circumcised, the Jews would have assumed he was renouncing his Jewish heritage and choosing to live as a Gentile. Paul's circumcision of Timothy had nothing to do with salvation; he did it for expediency's sake, to avoid placing an unnecessary stumbling block in the way of Jewish evangelism. Timothy's circumcision granted him full access to the synagogues he would visit with Paul and Silas… From Paul's actions concerning his two companions an important principle becomes evident. Missionaries must be sensitive to the unique characteristics of the cultures in which they work.
As Paul did in circumcising Timothy, they should avoid giving any unnecessary offense. But like Paul in refusing to circumcise Titus, they must not compromise any of the timeless truths of Scripture. He was sensitive and humble, knowing that unsaved people were without spiritual understanding. So he extended as much grace as possible to them—an example being, asking Timothy to be circumcised for the sake of the Gospel.
The Gentiles would accept a missionary who was wholly Jewish much more readily than the Jews would accept a missionary who was half Gentile. Paul put the matter to Timothy, who displayed his mettle by agreeing to the unpleasant operation. If Timothy had been wholly Gentile as Titus was , Paul would certainly not have taken this step. But Paul was the most conciliatory of men, always willing to make concessions where it did not violate some important and vital truth. Bruce - By Jewish law Timothy was a Jew, because he was the son of Jewish mother, but because he was uncircumcised he was technically an apostate Jew. If Paul wished to maintain his links with the synagogue, he could not be seen to countenance apostasy.
Robertson writes "Paul voluntarily removed this stumbling-block to the ministry of Timothy. Otherwise Timothy could not have been allowed to preach ln the synagogues. Idem non est semper idem. But Timothy's case was not the case of Titus. Here it was a question of efficient service, not an essential of salvation. Hovey notes that Timothy was circumcised because of Jewish unbelievers, not because of Jewish believers. A Jew in respect to race or religion as opposed to Gentiles. In the plural, it means the Jews, the people of ancient Palestine.
In John's Gospel Ioudaios was used of those hostile to Jesus, especially the Jewish leaders Jn , ff, , , ff, Jews hated the Samaritans Jn and the missionary activity of Paul Acts , , , , , , Paul qualified the meaning of Ioudaios in light of the New Covenant in his discourse on Romans 2, explaining that there are "Jews" and then there are "real Jews. Read Ro note. For gar - Term of explanation. Luke is explaining why Timothy was circumcised. It is not certain whether such a law was in effect in the 1st century, but even if it was, Timothy would not have been accepted as fully Jewish because he was not circumcised. They all knew that his father was a Greek - They refers to the Jews who were in those parts.
He was a disciple of Jesus and apparently well thought of in that region. We also learn that his mother was a Jewish believer in Jesus, but his father was a Greek. Here, then, Paul immediately met with a situation that the council had tried to address. Timothy had been brought up in a home with a Gentile father and a Jewish believing mother. He had not be circumcised. They saw no need for it. And indeed, the results of the Jerusalem council would have confirmed that conclusion, namely, that to become a believer in Jesus, a member of the New Covenant, he did not have to go back and fulfill the regulations of the law.
Paul was going from city to city delivering the decisions reached by the council for the people to obey, and he wanted to take Timothy along. The council had not ruled on circumcision, specifically, but in theory it did. And this seems to be what Paul was doing here. Paul knew that it was not necessary for Timothy to be circumcised for theological reasons. This is the main issue he discusses in Romans True circumcision is of the heart, that is, by the Spirit.
So to Paul the real issue was faith in Christ. The true believer was circumcised in heart by the Spirit and would therefore begin to live righteously--what the law had been designed to produce. But Paul thought it was necessary for Timothy to be circumcised under the circumstances. He could tell these assemblies what the council had decided, but he could also explain that in the spirit of love and understanding Timothy got circumcised anyway so that the Jews would not be offended.
This demonstration of the law of love worked very well as the churches responded well to it. And, we know that Timothy grew in the faith to be a leader in the church. There is a settlement in Israel called Yad Hashmoneh, a substantial number of Jewish believers who live not far from Jerusalem. They are very interesting to see because they are trying to live as biblical Christians without all the trappings of Judaism that are not mentioned in the Bible prayer shawls, little caps, etc. But they say that the Israelis who live all around them, who are their friends, always ask them if they eat pork, if they circumcise, and if they keep sabbath. They know that if they ate pork, or did not circumcise, or broke sabbath, they would lose all contact with their neighbors who would have nothing to do with them.
The contact allowed them to show that their faith in Christ Jesus was not a repudiation of their Jewishness, but a continuation of it to fulfillment in the Jewish Messiah. Here is a modern illustration of what surely was in the mind of Paul when he made the decision to have Timothy circumcised. The principle applies to all of us as well. In Christ Jesus we have certain freedoms. But often we come across new or young believers who are not sure that Christians should be doing certain things, such as eating pork, or doing certain things on what are known as holy days, or a number of other issues.
The mature Christian is called on to exercise the law of love, to abstain from some freedoms while those they know are growing in the faith. Likewise, in ministries in other cultures there are things that the mature Christian must give up if there is to be any witness at all. Here is where wisdom and love govern the use of freedoms in Christ. Norman Geisler - Acts —3—Why did Paul have Timothy circumcised when he himself spoke so strongly against it?
Paul, like any other human being, was capable of error. Since the Bible is the Word of God see Introduction , it is not capable of erring in anything it teaches. Paul was violently opposed to any who made circumcision necessary for salvation. But he never opposed it as helpful for evangelism. When Critics Ask. Inconsistency confuses us, and arguing for one point of view and then turning around and acting contrary to that point of view appears inconsistent. Of course, we sometimes misunderstand the actions of others, and an inner consistency can exist behind apparently contradictory deeds. Yet when we see truly inconsistent actions we at best call the doer fickle, at worst hypocritical, even deceiving. This is the issue that appears to face us in Acts Was Paul himself two-faced, or is one of the accounts historically inaccurate?
The resolution of this issue turns on a very important point. In Jewish eyes Titus was clearly a Gentile, for his parentage was Gentile, but Timothy was considered a Jew, because his mother was a Jew. The Mishnah, the Jewish legal tradition, makes it clear that children of Jewish mothers are really Jews, regardless of the race of their fathers. It is also clear from the verb tense used that his father was dead by the time Paul selected Timothy as a coworker. Paul presumably converted the family during his first missionary journey, but even before that Timothy was probably steeped in Scripture and observed the religion of his mother, although she may have practiced it in secret.
When his father died and what his father had felt about his religious practice is not known. He may have been a God-fearer, on the fringes of the synagogue. But neither the father himself nor his son had been circumcised. The father had not allowed his son to be fully Jewish circumcision in the days of public baths was a public mark that would have identified Timothy as a member of a different race, the Jews. How could he do so with Timothy, who would have been viewed as a type of renegade Jew? And how could Timothy participate fully in the mission while being only half-Jew? With Titus a principle was involved: Gentiles do not need to become Jews.
But with Timothy the question was whether a half-Jew could or should fully actualize his Jewish heritage. For Paul, Gentiles had no need to become Jews to improve their spiritual status, but it was not wrong for a Jew to live his Jewish culture to the fullest. It might have appeared more consistent if Paul had not taken this step, especially in light of the issues discussed in Galatians and the fact that Timothy lived in the Galatian area. Some have suggested that troubles stemming from this action led to the writing of Galatians and the citing of the counterexample of Titus.
When seen as a cultural rather than a religious issue, circumcision was an indifferent practice. Where it could be used for the advantage of the gospel, it was good. Where it hindered the gospel, it was to be avoided. In no case did it make the person more or less spiritual. Analogous cultural practices can be found today. Likewise today slavish consistency may hinder mission, while apparent inconsistency may point to a deeper underlying consistency and meet the requirements of a nuanced cultural situation. Until this is understood, it is unwise to criticize the apparent surface vacillation.
Hard Sayings of the Bible. Acts Now while they were passing through the cities, they were delivering the decrees which had been decided upon by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem, for them to observe. KJV Acts And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem. NET Acts As they went through the towns, they passed on the decrees that had been decided on by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for the Gentile believers to obey. NLT Acts Then they went from town to town, instructing the believers to follow the decisions made by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem. ESV Acts As they went on their way through the cities, they delivered to them for observance the decisions that had been reached by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem.
CSB Acts As they traveled through the towns, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders at Jerusalem for them to observe. NIV Acts As they traveled from town to town, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for the people to obey. Delivering the decrees - What decrees? The decrees which had been drawn up by the apostles and elders at Jerusalem which can be summarized that salvation is by faith alone God cleansed the Gentiles "hearts by faith.
Some of these instructions were revised 1 Cor. MacArthur summarizes their goal of giving "the twofold message of Christianity: salvation by grace and living by love. Toussaint writes "Assuming Paul wrote Galatians after the first missionary journey, but before the Jerusalem Council, the report of the decision would be strong confirmation of the gospel which he preached and about which he wrote. This could be phrased "they handed down to them the decisions to observe. Which had been decided krino upon - Decided is krino , the same verb used by James the head of the Jerusalem council who declared "it is my judgment krino that we do not trouble those who are turning to God from among the Gentiles.
By the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem - Although it was James who made the declaration of the decree, the leadership was in unanimous agreement, Luke recording that. For them to observe - In this context the directive from the Jerusalem Council to the Gentiles to observe or obey the decrees was not a legalistic demand, but a decree based upon grace and empowered by the Spirit. Remember that grace is not the freedom to do as you wish, but the power to obey as you should and thereby be pleasing to your heavenly Father.
Note the present tense calls for these decrees "for liberty" Robertson were to be their lifestyle, their continual practice, not just a temporary compromise. Acts So the churches were being strengthened in the faith, and were increasing in number daily. NET Acts So the churches were being strengthened in the faith and were increasing in number every day. ESV Acts So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and they increased in numbers daily. YLT Acts then, indeed, were the assemblies established in the faith, and were abounding in number every day;. So oun - Term of conclusion which in this context is used to introduce a logical conclusion, "from that fact, reason, or as a result. Compare with Luke's other summary statements or "progress reports" - Acts , 47, , , ; ; ; ; The churches were being strengthened in the faith - Note that Luke says it was the churches that were strengthened not just individual members.
The individual members are pictured as part of the whole body. The church is not an organization but a living organism, Christ's body, composed of individual members believers joined together and in and through which Christ, the Head works, carries out His purposes and lives. This picture is another reason believers should not forsake their assembling together, for they will miss out on vital body dynamics which Christ communicates to His body as a whole. It was a crucial time in the history of the early church as it now began to shift from predominantly Jewish to predominantly Gentile. MacArthur makes the point that "The goal of evangelism is not to rack up huge numbers of converts. Yet it is true that strong churches, established in the faith, will increase in numbers.
Wuest writes that "The word assembly is a good one-word translation of ekklesia. In Acts stereoo is used figuratively to solidify, confirm or establish in the faith cf see note 1 Th - sterizo The passive voice in this context would be the " divine passive ," the effect of being strengthened being as a result of the the Holy Spirit and the Holy Word cf Jn , in this context including the decrees announced and explained by the missionaries. Friberg - make strong, firm, hard; literally, of physical strength make strong, strengthen Acts 3. Vincent on were strengthened, stereoo - Another word episterizo is used for established in Acts ; Acts , 41; There is a difference, moreover, between being strengthened and established.
See 1 Pet. BDAG - 1. Acts And seizing him by the right hand, he raised him up; and immediately his feet and his ankles were strengthened. Acts "And on the basis of faith in His name, it is the name of Jesus which has strengthened this man whom you see and know; and the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect health in the presence of you all.
Stereoo is used 34x in the Septuagint - Note the many of the uses of stereoo refer to the Lord God establishing various aspects of creation - heavens, earth - 1 Sam. The ancients thought of the firmament as an inverted bowl, solid and strong. In this context the Old Testament writers pictured the heavens as an impregnable fortress, a safe retreat. It is here that God dwells, and all who dwell with Him enjoy perfect safety and security. Faith pistis is synonymous with trust or belief and is the conviction of the truth of anything, but in Scripture usually speaks of belief respecting man's relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervor born of faith and joined with it.
They were increasing in abundance with the implication of being considerably more than what would be expected. Perisseuo carries the idea of exceeding the requirements, of overflowing or overdoing. It means to exceed a fixed number of measure, to be left over and above a certain number or measure. It means to have or to be more than enough, to be extremely rich or abundant. To exceed or remain over as used in loaves left over after feeding the [Mt ]! When Jesus supplies there is more than enough so that some is even left over! How quick we are to forget this basic principle! The idea is to overflow like a river out of its banks! Number arithmos ; English arithmetic refers to an identification of quantity and so a cardinal number.
It can also have the sense of a numerical total. Liddell-Scott - number, Lat. Military rank was expressed in terms of number. Besides the simple numerical importance of numbers, various philosophical and religious movements in the Greek world constructed complicated systems of so-called geometry e. Jewish cabalism is noted for picking up on this. The prevailing background of arithmos in the New Testament is the Old Testament. Vestiges of this relationship are evident in the numeric symbolism in the Book of Revelation and even in the Gospels. For example, some interpret the number in John symbolically e. The only certain example of numerology in the Scripture is the cryptic message about the name of the beast in Revelation , Because letters also had a numerical value, it was quite common to total the value of the letters in a particular name.
By giving this sum to the initiated one, he would know which person was being referred to. Here are couple of uses of arithmos to meditate upon to saturate and satisfy your heart and soul and mind and strength Mk If I would declare and speak of them, They would be too numerous to count Lxx arithmos - "they exceeded number". The result was fruit from the witness of the believers so that the churches increased in number daily "divine mathematics". We see a similar principle in Acts 2…. The church was praising God, and having favor with all the people.
And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved. Acts Acts AS a teenager, J. Stephen Conn sensed God calling him to be a preacher. But he felt a certain disadvantage. Because he had been saved when he was seven years old, he would never be able to entertain audiences with stories of a wicked past. So he asked God for permission to get some experience in a life of sin to enhance his preaching later on. Deep within, he knew God would not answer such a request, so he decided just to preach the Bible without a dramatic testimony. Some time later Conn wrote, "For the past eleven years I've been pastoring a church. I realize now what a great testimony I really have. God not only has the power to deliver from sin, He has the even greater power to keep from sin God not only saved my soul—He saved my entire life!
We know little about Timothy's early life except that his God-fearing mother and grandmother faithfully instructed him in the Scriptures 2 Timothy ; Because of this, he might be called a "good" sinner. Yet God used him as an effective leader in the early church. Those who have been spared a life of sin can thank God for His grace. Their lives and testimonies can be just as effective as those of the worst sinners. All sinners, good and bad, can speak of God's matchless grace. All rights reserved Lord, so often I fail to appreciate the beauty of Your goodness until after I have seen it desecrated.
May I believe that Your way is right without having to learn it the hard way—without trying some other way and suffering the painful consequences. The first seven chapters of Proverbs are believed to have been written by King David for his son Solomon. David was about to hand over the kingdom to his son, and he wanted to take the opportunity to share wise advice and counsel, exhorting his son to pursue wisdom and to live righteously. This month we will study the books of 1 and 2 Timothy, letters written by the apostle Paul to his spiritual son, Timothy. In a similar way to Proverbs , Paul wants to pass along wise advice, helping to prepare Timothy for the ministry that he had been given.
It's likely that Timothy became a believer when Paul first passed through Timothy's hometown of Lystra on his first missionary journey cf. Although Timothy and his mother were believers, his father was not Acts Paul was a Christian mentor, entrusting ministry responsibilities to Timothy and viewing him as the successor to his own legacy of ministry. Paul and Timothy exemplified a father-son relationship through Christ that still provides a model for believers today. Understanding this relationship provides the lens through which we can read and understand Paul's letter.
First Timothy provides important and urgent instruction for the church, but it isn't a formal church document. Rather, it's a personal letter meant to cheer, instruct, and strengthen a young pastor-missionary. Young and timid, he needed Paul's encouragement cf. Raised by an unbelieving father, he didn't have the perfect Christian heritage we might expect. We learn how God often delights to work powerfully through the most unlikely candidates. Acts , 2 Timothy My son. The Herald Angels Sing.
Mother of 19 children, she endeavored to teach her sons and daughters Greek and Latin and instruct them in the faith. The godly impact of parents and grandparents can be seen in the life of Timothy. This preacher and missionary was valuable in the spread of the gospel and the growth of the early church. He was dearly loved by the apostle Paul and considered indispensable in ministry Phil. Scripture takes care to note that Timothy inherited a rich legacy of faith that helped to prepare him for his calling. First, Timothy chose to follow God as a young man. His father was not a believer, and his mother Eunice was Acts At some point prior to meeting Paul, Timothy had already decided that he would embrace the faith of his mother, and his reputation among the believers testified to his commitment.
Second, Timothy demonstrated his faith through his obedience. To remove any distraction from their ministry, Paul circumcised his son in the faith, and Timothy complied. He left his home in Lystra to accompany Paul and Silas, and God blessed their work with new believers coming to Christ daily. Finally, as Paul neared the end of his life, he wrote letters to Timothy to encourage and exhort him to remain faithful as a minister of the gospel. Several biographies have been written, including Susanna Wesley by Arnold Dallimore. Spend time in prayer today for the generation following you, and seek to model the kind of life-changing faith of Lois and Eunice through the grace of the Holy Spirit. J C Philpot - "And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily.
Oh what an inestimable mercy it is for a man to know the truth for himself by divine teaching and divine testimony; to have it applied to his heart by a gracious influence and a heavenly power, so as to know for himself what salvation is, whence it comes, and above all to enjoy a sweet persuasion that this salvation has reached his heart! He will then know where to go in the hour of trouble, to whom to resort when sorrow and affliction come into his house, or illness or infirmity shake his tabernacle.
He will not be a stranger to the throne of grace, nor to the sweetness of the covenant ordered in all things and sure. But there will be given him from above, out of the fullness of Christ, such grace and strength as will support him in the trying hour. It is by these gracious dealings upon his soul, that a believer becomes "established in the faith. It is in these storms that he learns more of his own weakness and of Christ's strength; more of his own misery and of Christ's mercy; more of his own sinfulness and of super-abounding grace; more of his own poverty and of Christ's riches; more of his own desert of hell, and more of his own title to heaven. Thus he becomes "established in faith," for the same blessed Spirit who began the work carries it on, goes on to fill up the original outline, and to engrave the image of Christ in deeper characters upon his heart, and to teach him more and more experimentally the truth as it is in Jesus.
Acts They passed through the Phrygian and Galatian region, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia;. NIV Acts Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. NAB Acts They traveled through the Phrygian and Galatian territory because they had been prevented by the holy Spirit from preaching the message in the province of Asia.
The exact extent and meaning of this area has been a subject of considerable controversy in modern NT studies. The phrase the word in this context indicates the Gospel. Somehow the Spirit told the missionaries not to preach the Gospel in these regions at this time. However God had not forgotten about the lost souls in Asia see "Asia" in the red area on this Map for these regions would later have churches in several cities including Ephesus, Smyrna, Philadelphia, Laodicea, Colossae, Sardis, Pergamum, and Thyatira. For now that "door" was closed to Paul. The idea is to cause something not to happen.
To hinder means to make slow or difficult the progress of something by interfering in some way with the activity or progress thereof. In short koluo means to make it difficult for someone to do something or for something to happen in this case to preach the Gospel. One wonders how many times we experience "divine passives"? Or how many times we refuse to pay attention to the Spirit's still small voice in His "divine passives? Dear Father in Heaven, give us ears and hearts like young Samuel who finally recognized Your voice exclaiming "Speak Lord, your servant is listening.
F B Meyer - Each believer has an appointed place in the great army of God. It is indicated by the voice of God, and by the circumstances of our life; and it should be jealously retained. Repeatedly the Apostle bade his converts abide in the calling wherein they were called. Yours may be towards the bleak north of difficulty, or the warm south of privilege — in the home, the country parish, or the difficult foreign post. But, on the whole, you should stay where you are; unless the Captain of our salvation moves you by some unmistakable indication of his will. And interval there was none between his apprehension of the Divine purpose and his endeavor to strike his tent and follow wherever it might lead Acts —7.
Meyer, F. Our Daily Homily. Acts Come over to Macedonia and help us. Revels spent most of his life as an itinerant preacher, and took leadership roles in politics and education. On that day, Hiram Revels crossed racial boundaries and made history. In today's reading, the apostle Paul did the same, taking the gospel to Europe for the first time in recorded history. We've returned to the time of his second missionary journey, but things had not been going well.
The Spirit had been blocking their path in Asia. Paul, Timothy, and Silas knew that God must have something special planned, and they expressed an attitude of expectant readiness. Luke joined them, and the group made their historic entry into Europe. Traveling on the nearly mile-long Via Egnatia between the two continents, they arrived in Philippi, one of four districts of Macedonia. There must have been fewer than ten Jewish males in the city, for there was no synagogue there. Instead, the missionaries met a group of women at a place of prayer outside the city. Lydia, a businesswoman, and her household believed and were baptized. She had been a worshiper of the true God already, and when the gospel arrived, He opened her heart to understand and respond immediately.
She at once offered Paul and his friends hospitality. Lydia's gracious response remains an instructive model for how we should practice hospitality, particularly toward those in ministry. This is not an onerous task, but something that should bring them encouragement and us great joy see 1 Peter With regard to our year's theme of purpose, we can meditate on Paul's passion for evangelism, his sensitivity to the Spirit's leading, and the fact that God is always at work around and ahead of us. Perhaps, like Lydia, you can extend hospitality to missionaries who visit or to your pastor and his family through sharing a meal together.
This doesn't have to be grand, stressful entertaining, but a way of meeting needs and supporting God's work. God had a more strategic route for the Gospel through Europe first Acts So, the prohibition was only temporary, not permanent. Acts and after they came to Mysia, they were trying to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them;. NLT Acts Then coming to the borders of Mysia, they headed north for the province of Bithynia, but again the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them to go there. YLT Acts having gone toward Mysia, they were trying to go on toward Bithynia, and the Spirit did not suffer them,. And after they came to Mysia - In northwest Asia Minor.
They trekked through Galatia, Phrygia, Asia into the region of Mysia before you read on, trace their trek. They were trying to go into Bithynia - Northeast of Mysia. Trying is the verb peirazo and is translated in the KJV as "they assayed. The Holy Spirit often guides as much by the closing of doors as He does by the opening of doors. David Livingstone wanted to go to China, but God sent him to Africa. William Carey wanted to go to Polynesia, but God sent him to India. Adoniram Judson went to India, but God guided him to Burma. God guides us along the way, to just the right place. William Larkin asks "How does God guide his church to the right place for mission? There will be "closed" as well as "open doors.
There will be guidance via circumstances, sometimes extraordinary, as well as through the use of reason in evaluating circumstances in the light of God's Word. And specific guidance will come only to those who are already on the road, living out their general obedience to the Great Commission. Being able to say, "God sent me; I come with the wind at my back," is a strong witness to one's hearers that one's message is from God and true. On both these facts the Bible has much to say. The Spirit of Jesus did not permit them - Paul, presumably filled with the Spirit is responsive to the Spirit's guidance cf Ro , Gal and willingly lays down his will and plans. Paul is being guided by hindrance, closed doors but the exact form of this "closure" is not stated by Luke not opened doors.
The Holy Spirit guides as much by the closing of doors as He does by the opening of doors. We all like the latter, but often chaff at the former! Did you notice the synonymous identification of the Holy Spirit in Acts and with Spirit of Jesus in this verse? These parallel names are a clear indication that the Holy Spirit is Deity, and supports that He is the third Person of the Trinity. Permit eao means to allow someone to do something, to let or to permit , Here in Acts eao is modified with the strongest Greek negative which signifes He absolutely did not permit them! In other contexts eao means leaving someone or something alone Acts All NT uses of eao - Matt. Acts both clearly demonstrate the superintendence and guidance of the Holy Spirit in missionary strategy.
Charles Ryrie writes that - Asia needed the Gospel, but this was not God's time. Need did not constitute their call. They had just come from the east; they had been forbidden to go south or north, but they did not presume that the Lord was leading them to the west --they waited His specific directions. Logic alone is not the basis for a call. Discerning God's Will - move ahead and allow Him to close doors until the right opportunity presents itself. This makes me think of the great Rich Mullin's classic spiritual song " Sometimes by Step.
The Lord's calling may become evident in different ways. One key principle is indicated here in the calling of Paul to Macedonia in Greece. Paul was already active, trying to preach in the province of Asia, then in Bithynia. He was not waiting idly at home, hoping to receive a call. The Holy Spirit in some very clear way closed the first two doors, but then opened another by this special vision.
It is sobering to think that if Paul had not been redirected to Philippi and Greece, he might never have gone into Europe and Christianity might have remained primarily an Asian religion. But God had other purposes. MacDonald summarizes how the early believers discerned the will of God and His guidance writing…. Through direct communication, possibly in an inward, subjective manner. Believer's Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson. Illustration : I read the story about a young woman who had prepared for missionary service on foreign fields. She had been appointed by the mission board and was ready to sail when she received a telegram saying that her sister had died in a western state.
The sister left four little children and since there was no one to care for them this young woman had to stay with them. Her heart was broken. She had dreamed of being a missionary and now she would never have a chance to go out for the Lord. So instead of one person going out as a missionary, because of her faithfulness to God and His call four went out.
George Muller's see bio thoughts on finding the will of God…. I seek at the beginning to get my heart into such a state that it has no will of its own in regard to a given matter. Nine-tenths of the trouble with people generally is just here. Nine-tenths of the difficulties are overcome when our hearts are ready to do the Lord's will, whatever it may be. When one is truly in this state it is usually but a little way to the knowledge of what His will is.
Having done this, I do not leave the result to feeling or simple impression. If so, I make myself liable to great elusions. I seek the will of the Spirit of God through, or in connection with, the Word of God. The Spirit and the Word must be combined. If I look to the Spirit alone without the Word, I lay myself open to great delusion also. If the Holy Ghost guides us at all, He will do it according to the Scriptures and never contrary to them. Next I take into account providential circumstances. These often plainly indicate God's will in connection with His Word and Spirit. We pass along, trying one after another, but find that they are all locked, in order that we may enter the one that He has opened for us Rev Sometimes in following the Spirit's guidance we seem to come to a blank wall.
The little missionary band found themselves facing the sea. They had not contemplated crossing to Europe, but there seemed no other course open. They walked to and fro on the sea-wall or landing-stage, looking over the restless waves, and noticing the strange costumes of sailors and travellers who had gathered in the thriving sea-port, which bore the name famous to all the world for the Siege of Troy. It was with such thoughts in his heart that St. Paul slept that night in his humble lodging, and in his dreams, a man from Macedonia, like one he had seen on the quay, stood and beckoned to him Acts , R.
Where it is possible for the judgment to arrive at a right conclusion, on the suggestions that may be supplied by the Divine Spirit, we are left to think out the problems of our career. Within your reach are the materials needed for formulating a correct judgment; use them, balance the pros and cons, and looking up to God to prevent you from making a mistake, act. When once you have come to a decision, in faith and prayer, go forward, not doubting or looking back. A small door may lead to a vast opportunity. Paul might have been discouraged by his reception in Europe. He looked for the man whom he had seen in the vision, but the only trace they could find of the worship of God was the gathering together of a few women.
How startled they must have been by the sudden appearance of these missionaries, but a mighty work for God began in the life of at least one of them "whose heart the Lord opened. PRAYER - O God, since we know not what a day may bring forth, but only that the hour for serving Thee is always present, may we wake to the instant claims of Thy holy Will; not waiting for to-morrow, but yielding today. Consecrate with Thy presence the way our feet may go; and the humblest work will shine, and the roughest places be made plain. Our Daily Walk. Say, "Blessed Spirit, I cast on Thee the entire responsibility of closing against my steps any and every course which is not of God.
In the meanwhile, continue along the path which you have been already treading. Expect to have as clear a door out as you had in; and if there is no indication to the contrary, consider the absence of indication to be the indication of God's will that you are on his track. Only be careful to obey his least prohibitions, and where, after believing prayer, there are no apparent hindrances, believe that you are on the way everlasting, and go forward with enlarged heart. According to Acts and 7, the company was traveling throughout Phrygia and Galatia because the Spirit kept them from preaching the word in the province of Asia.
They came to the border of Mysia, the Spirit did not allow them to enter Bithynia. So they came back down the coast of what is now western Turkey and stayed in Troas just to the southwest of Istanbul. Here during the night Paul had a vision of a man from Macedonia begging him to come over and help them. What is clear from the text is that God wanted the Gospel to go to the West, and not turn back to the East. We can only reason that since the cultural influence of Greece and Rome was gradually spreading throughout the known world, the Gospel would travel more widely and more quickly than if it stayed in the Orient.
And this is a cause for thanksgiving for people whose origins lay in that western region. One can only imagine how differently the history of the Christian movement would have been if Paul had turned back to the East and left Macedonia, Greece, Rome, and the Isles as they were. But he was the apostle to the Gentiles. There is an interesting little aside from history that is worth thinking about. I looked at this briefly in an earlier devotion for the sake of thinking about how important decisions are.Seeing his silky blond hair, Visual Pleasure And Narrative Cinema Summary Okonkwos Flaws lines only visible very close up. Christians then need to be available for what God opens to them, and to be particularly aware that Visual Pleasure And Narrative Cinema Summary their gifts Effective Smoking Policy GPA Apology Letter are GPA Apology Letter be surrendered to Him to use as He will. Sayers, P.