Archive for February 14th, 2006

Acts 16 begins with Paul and Silas being joined by Timothy, the son of a Greek man and a Jewish woman. Timothy allowed himself to be circumcised to lessen the level of potential opposition from Jews. It is somewhat Ironic that this was necessary even as Paul and Silas were going around to existing churches and letting them know about the decision by the Apostles and Elders that circumcision was not necessary. Nonetheless, it was necessary and Timothy was willing.

As the three are continuing on their journey they are prevented by the Holy Spirit from going certain places. Have you ever had this kind of feeling from God? Did you ever know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God was calling you to not go somewhere or not do something?

Paul has a vision of a man calling them to come to Macedonia. Knowing this vision was from God they jump on a ship and are in Macedonia in a few days. Once they arrive, they meet a woman named Lydia who is described as a God fearing woman. She is open to the Gospel message and becomes a Christ-follower. It is good to see once again that God came to a woman first.

A slave girl who was demon possessed was following Paul and Silas and shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation.” I have always wondered what was the problem with this. It seems like free publicity to me. Is it because it would have confused the message? Most people probably knew that this slave girl could tell the future and would have thought that Paul and Silas were endorsing what she was doing by not stopping her. What do you think about this?

After Paul drove the demon out of the slave girl the crowd turned against them and Paul and Silas were beaten and put in prison. Once again, God did a prison miracle and they become free through supernatural means. However, they do not leave the prison like Peter did. Instead, they stay and it provides them with the opportunity to lead the Warden and his family to faith.

Paul is rather incensed at his treatment and makes it known to the authorities that he and Silas are Romans citizens and should not be treated this way. The authorities do apologize, but ask them to leave the city. They encourage the new believers and do move on.

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Vows – Numbers 28-30

Vows Made by Single Women

30:3 “If a young woman who is still living in her father’s house makes a vow to the Lord or places herself under an obligation, 30:4 and her father hears of her vow or the obligation to which she has pledged herself, and her father remains silent about her, then all her vows will stand, and every obligation to which she has pledged herself will stand. 30:5 But if her father overrules her when he hears about it, then none of her vows or her obligations which she has pledged for herself will stand. And the Lord will release her from it, because her father overruled her.

Vows Made by Married Women

30:6 “And if she marries a husband while under a vow, or she uttered anything impulsively by which she has pledged herself, 30:7 and her husband hears about it, but remains silent about her when he hears about it, then her vows will stand and her obligations which she has pledged for herself will stand. 30:8 But if when her husband hears it he overrules her, then he will nullify the vow she has taken, and whatever she uttered impulsively which she has pledged for herself. And the Lord will release her from it. – Numbers 30:3-8

Today, I actually have more of a question than thoughts on a particular passage. The passages above make it clear that a woman could be over ruled by her husband or her father. Now, I completely understand that these people were living in a particular time and place. It was a time where men were completely in control (with a few notable exception.) These kinds of rules don’t surprise me as a set of human rules. However, these are not human rules. These are rules set down by God. I also believe we are no longer bound by Old Testament law, so these would definitely not apply today. Yet, it still bugs me that the God I love and worship would set down these types of rules. Actually, the one about the father overriding a daughter does not bug me too much because I believe a father (and mother) should be able to override the decision of one of their sons or daughter until they reach an appropriate age. My guess is that in Biblical times that would not have been as young as 18, but the actual age is not as important as the concept. Anyway, what are your thoughts?