Welcome to Week 2! We're going to talk about Saul this week. There is so much to say!
Saul was a Jew, born a Roman citizen. This was prestigious. His dad was a Pharisee and as was Saul. He carried on a rich legacy of being the keeper of the Law, the man who could argue and refute those opposed to the Scriptures better than anyone else.
I plan to write here as if you've read the devotional, so make sure you download your FREE PDF HERE.
In the "Saul" section of Selah, we meet this dogged, tenacious man.
Here's what struck me to the point of shivers...Saul knew the Law inside and out. He practiced the strict customs and traditions to the "T" (and there were many!) From the moment his eyes opened to the moment he laid down again at night, there was not one prayer, action, or custom that he did not faithfully observe. Decades of his life had been devoted to this practice. He ate, slept, and breathed the Law...and yet, he completely missed Jesus as Messiah. He knew the prophecies and Scripture pointing to Jesus better than most and yet he stood with confidence, approving of those being killed for preaching and believing in Jesus' name.
That is sobering.
I can relate. Too many times I've been walking along in my life, sure and settled in what I believed, only to have my eyes opened. The emotion involved in that is often too much to bear. Couple that with leading others astray in their beliefs and it's a perfect concoction for regret and shame. Saul was amazing in that his response wasn't to wallow. He spent 3 days not eating while he undoubtedly considered all he had ever believed, been taught, and taught others. The blood of countless others was on his hands. The realization that he had people killed for proclaiming the Truth that he had himself missed was probably crushing.
But...from the moment Ananias laid hands on him and his sight was restored, Saul ate and then began preaching Jesus! That is the kind of dedication I want. He had to realize the ripple effects that would happen as a result: The talk amongst the Pharisees and even Saul's own family. How did Saul's father feel?
Saul risked his reputation, his family, and his culture because when you come face-to-face with the truth, there is no other reasonable option.
Saul's face hit the dirt and he PAUSED. He spent three days at the house of Judas to PROCESS. And then, the moment he was able, he RESPONDED and began preaching Jesus as Lord.
Where are you on your road to Damasus? Have you encountered Jesus? If so, how did you respond? If not, are you ready? What will your response be?