Yes, Godly men were chosen to deliver. What were they delivering? A letter to the Antioch church “Telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood.” (Acts 15: 20) They were defining some ground rules among the church in Antioch. Two men, Judas and Silas, Godly prophetic, leaders, were chosen to deliver.
Making some things more clear would help the relationship between the Jews and the Gentiles. The Jews were given Mosaic laws, that were observed, but the Gentiles did not have those laws established. Let’s say the Gentiles were more liberal.
The leaders of the church didn’t want to make it difficult for the growth of the new Gentile believer. Circumcision was not required by the Gentiles but was still required for Jews, so there had to be rules laid for Gentile believers, within the Antioch community.
Two men, Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas, were sent with Paul and Barnabas to go to Antioch. The letter is taken to the church there telling them about what they should do.
- Being a leader sometimes requires delivering.
They deliver the letter and the people were glad for its encouraging message. Judas and Silas continued to motivate the church and eventually go back to Jerusalem, while Paul and Barnabas remain in Antioch and preached the word more.
“Some time later, Paul said to Barnabas, let us go back and visit the brothers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing.” (Acts 15: 36) Barnabas wanted John Mark to come along but Paul didn’t want to take him since John Mark had deserted them in Pamphylia. They had such a sharp disagreement about this, that they parted company.
- Disputes can arise even among brothers, resulting in parting from one another. (Taken from Acts 15: 22-41, Paraphrased)
Job’s friend, Elilhu, was disputing some things with Job. He boldly tells Job, “Listen to my word; pay attention to everything say.” (Job 33: 1) He sounds a little bit overly confident, don’t you think? Or, maybe he’s just understanding who he is in God. That can be mistaken as being too confident and positive. He continues, “The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me new life. (Job 33: 4) This is truth!
He still feels that Job needs to be corrected and quotes what he has said, saying, “I tell you in this you are not right, for God is greater than man.” (Job 33: 12) He then asks Job a question, “Why do you complain to him that He answers none of man’s words.” (Job 33: 13) He continues to correct Job.
- Our attempts to help a depressed friend should not include pointing out how wrong they are in their thinking. I’ve made that mistake!
We should be pulling them up, not tearing them down. It’s all in the approach, folks.
- Fixing things for people doesn’t work either.
There are times and seasons that God is working things out with people, that we may not be aware of. We can’t force anything on anyone. Learn to just love people where they are at. Maybe we should extend our hand out to help them up, but wait till they grab hold of it, then lift.
Elihu’s point is that God talks to us in ways we may not perceive. As a rescuer, we may want to spare someone from going down to a pit; but God may need to send an angel to mediate. We may not be the mediator. We are not their Savior, either. (Taken from Job 33, Paraphrased)
The Fighting Returns It looks like the Israelites may need a mediator again. After the death of Joshua, the “Israelites asked the Lord “Who will be the first to go up and fight for us against the Canaanites? The Lord answered, Judah is to go; I have given the land into their hands.” (Judges 1: 1-2) Judah was also the first to be assigned territory west of the Jordan. the leadership role of the tribe of Judah was anticipated in the blessing of Jacob way back in Genesis 49.
They had been told to occupy, which is a little different than just living. When one occupies, they take possession of. So the Israelites attack but were unable to drive out the people. Why? They failed to comply with God’s commands. Obedience is a hard thing, but we are told that “To obey is better than sacrifice.” (1 Samuel 15: 22)
If there is something God is telling us to deliver, obeying would be the best route to take. On that route, we may be the only one traveling on it. Obeying may require traveling alone.
UNBROKEN LOVE SERIES
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