And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.”
Pastor Coty Pinckney shared these reflections on Acts 18:9-10, part of our daily Bible reading plan for today:
Corinth was a tough place for Paul. It was in many ways like the US, which in some ways is tough too. But remember, Paul is on his second missionary journey — remember what has happened earlier. On this journey he want and picked up Timothy, but after that he couldn’t go where he wanted to go; he ended up in Philippi where he was beaten and jailed and had to leave the city; he was in Thessolonica, and a mob came and attacked the house where he was staying; he wasn’t there, but they dragged the owner of the house out, and Paul was forced to leave; then in Berea the Jews from Thessolonica came and stirred up the people and Paul was sent away; in Athens, he preached but not much seemed to happen. So Paul goes to Corinth. As you might have noticed, Paul is going to the synagogue once a week but he is not doing more than that. Paul is discouraged, quite discouraged at this time. He has been beaten, and his body bears the scars and bruises; he doesn’t want it to happen again. He may have been asking himself, “Am I doing something wrong?” But God comes to him in a vision, saying “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking; do not be silent; for I am with you; and no one is going to attack and harm you for I have many people in this city.”
We too can remember that we do not need to be afraid; we do not need to be silent. The threats we face are much less severe than those faced by Paul, but in the middle of this society which is intellectually astute, financially prosperous, and morally corrupt, we too can speak; regardless of the level of our knowledge we can show God’s love to the people around us.