Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord's disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?" Acts 9:1-4
Here at Deliberate Women, we are no strangers to discussing the life of Saul (later renamed Paul). His is an amazing story of conversion and a 180 degree change in beliefs and way of life.
Paul was raised as a very prominent Jew and was as devout as could be. He was highly educated and a pillar in his community. He was passionate in his work to rid the world of these blasphemers known then as "the Way." He sought them out, watched them be murdered, and was very, very good at his job.
Look at verses 3-4. As he was traveling on his way to capture yet more Jesus followers, he was encountered by a "light from heaven" and literally knocked off his horse because it was so bright as it "flashes around him." As if that isn't enough, he then heard a voice calling his name. He discovered it was Jesus asking him why he was persecuting Jesus.
It's easy to read the Bible sometimes and lose the emotion and the feelings in the words that comprise the verses. If we take a moment to close our eyes and envision the scene, sometimes we can pick up on deeper things.
Can you imagine what might have been on Saul's mind as he was traveling? Can you smell the smells and hear the sounds that surrounded him? I imagine he was very focused on the business at hand, perhaps even rehearsing how the events ahead of him might unfold. Verses 1-9 say he was nearing or at the outskirts of Damascus, so he was closing in on his prey. I wonder if his spine straightened and his jaw clenched as he anticipated victory and the accolades that would later follow.
In that moment, when he could almost taste victory, an in credibly bright light shown around him and knocked him to the ground. The Bible says that he was dazed. The Greek for the word "light" in that verse is "phos." Phos means "radiant" or "unquenchable light." The example given in Strong's Greek (biblehub.com):
[A] heavenly light, such as surrounds angels when they appear on earth: hence, ἄγγελοςφωτός, 2 Corinthians 11:14, and illumines the place where they appear, Acts 12:7; a light of this kind shone around Paul when he was converted to Christ, Acts 22:6,
And then he heard Jesus speak.
Saul was rendered blind. He spent three days at the house where Jesus told him to go. His life was changed forever from that moment. Everything he believed about who he was and about who God is changed in the literal blink of an eye.
And the beautiful irony is that while no light entered Saul's eyes, God poured light into his heart to reveal God's Truth. It wasn't until he saw the Truth with his heart that he saw it also with his eyes.
Ask yourself...has God shined a light on anything in your life? Has He illuminated any areas that need to be addressed? Has He highlighted things that you believe, think or do that need to change? Have you addressed them?
Father, please reach us with your love, Lord. Please knock us off our feet and make us hear you. Guide our hearts to Your Truth. Illuminate in us any areas that are dark. Open our eyes to who we are and who You really are...and guide our feet to serve You. Thank You, Lord for pursuing us with a passionate, unending love. In Jesus' name, amen.
Devotional written by Mandy.