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Thursday, November 5, 2015

Purposely Scattered

Control
As I read through the Bible it seems to me that regardless of what is happening, God seems to be in control.  For instance, look at Acts 2:9 – 11.  There were people from many nations in Jerusalem to celebrate Pentecost.  They were Jewish believers.  How did they become Jews?  Born that way or converted.  Many were in all likelihood converted.
Purposely Scattered
Purposeful Captivity
Isaiah 49:6 is a bit like the Old Testament great commission.  It was God’s intention for Israel to be a light to the nations.  He chose them to represent Him to the world.  They did not do that well.  So in 722 He had Assyria take Israel into captivity.  136 years later Babylon took Judah into captivity.  Israel and Judah were settled in some of the nations that are represented in Acts 2:9 – 11.  Like Daniel did with Babylon some of these people were continually faithful to what God had revealed of Himself.  As Daniel had an impact on those he met, so would have they.  Some would have converted to the worship of the Hebrew God.

The Audience Primed
Those people’s descendants could have been those from the nations listed in Acts 2:9 – 11.  God used the captivities to spread knowledge of Himself to the nations to which the Jews were displaced.

Purposeful Persecution
In Acts 8:1 we read that a great persecution arose after the stoning of Stephen.  Some in the Church scattered.  They carried the message of Christ to the places they went.

The Gospel Spread
As with the captivities God used the persecution to spread the good news of the gospel.

It seems He moves us where He wants.

2 comments:

  1. Very informative and enlightened share J Michael, thanks for sharing. Many blessings to you always.

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  2. A blessed truth, Mike, and too easily forgotten in the fires of affliction. Since God controls all of history, and my life is a microcosm of history, He therefore controls ALL of my life as well.

    I was personally stunned recently while reviewing two passages from the life of the Apostle Paul, principles I have known in my head but have consistent difficulty applying very often in my life.

    In 2 Cor. 4 he lists the categories of afflictions he had already endured, sufferings and inconveniences I can only wonder at. And at the end, he calls them "momentary," and "light." Of course, these are relative terms. Compared to what, Paul.? Most days seem they are eternal all in themselves. In the darkness of the night my burden seems ready to, if not take my life, at least cripple me. He anticipated my question 2000 years ago; his answer? compared to the eternal glory beyond all other comparisons.

    2 Timothy 1:12 sounds the same theme. The key to Paul's powerful, triumphant life was seeing his life as God saw it. He walked by faith, not by sight.

    Everything in me, however, is oriented by sight. God is determined to teach me live by faith in His limitless processes. Just as Job discovered, God is bigger; He wins..

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