Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Vision of the Macedonian Man

And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us. Acts 16:9

This vision changed the history and direction of the church. Verse six of this chapter says, Then when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia, (Acts 16:6) After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit suffered them not. (Acts 16:7).

The Spirit forbad Paul's missionary journey to Asia! So much for good intentions. God has his own plans that sometimes contradict ours. But Asia's loss was Macedonia's gain.

Often, when analyzing the course of the early church, some will say it was under the influence of Greek culture. Yes, but it was not just the influence of geography, but the will of God that so determined it. Not only "Go to Macedonia", but "Do not go to Asia.

I imagine a man with limited funds preparing to place an ad in a newspaper. He has the papers narrowed down to the Chicago Tribune or the Hebron, Kentucky, Weekly News. Which one will it be? His business advisor tells him, "Put the ad in the Chicago paper. You'll reach a lot more people. Some of the people in Hebron subscribe to the Tribune, but no one in Chicago reads the Kentucky Weekly News."

Not only in its outreach, but in its precision, the Greek language is our best source of what the Bible says. Hundreds of years before the time of Jesus, the Old Testament was carefully translated into Greek. This is the Septuagint, quoted by Jesus himself. Scholars, and even lowly Bible teachers, use the Septuagint to "get it right". Not a rare book at all, Amazon has them.

Now we are free to go anywhere, at least by radio, in our mission outreach. But we must not forget God's selection of the Greek language to record his word.

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