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Acts 13:4-12, The Apostles Preach in Cyprus (i.e. "Paul the Meanie")

Narrative Lectionary Key Verse for Today

And now listen—the hand of the Lord is against you, and you will be blind for a while, unable to see the sun.’ Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he went about groping for someone to lead him by the hand.
— Acts 13:11

NL Daily Devotion for Monday, May 13, 2019

by Daniel D. Maurer, Clergy Stuff


Paul wasn’t a very nice guy in Cyprus. Evidently after his entourage had travelled there, a certain “magician” Bar-Jesus (or Elymas according to the translation of his name) started speaking and performing falsehoods.

Paul, never the one to back down from a challenge, blinds Elymas, basically tell him to shut-the-heck up.

When you read a passage like this and consider exactly WHAT to write for a devotion, it’s very difficult to discern what or how God is speaking through this part of the Holy Word!

I suppose the main message is that God is powerful and the message matters so much that we are apt to remind ourselves that preaching falsehoods has the potential to hurt others. Justice demands that things be set right in this world. Sometimes that requires punishment.

Just don’t make me do it! It’s hard enough to first judge myself, much less pass judgment on others!

What do you make of stories like this from the Bible? How does (or doesn’t) God speak to you through them?