Todays readings .. Deuteronomy 23, Song of Solomon 3, Acts 16&17
“THEY RECEIVED THE WORD OF GOD WITH ALL EAGERNESS”
What a challenging example to us today – almost 2,000 years after Jesus, the Son of God, walked and taught on this earth. The example to follow is that set by the Jews in Berea. When Paul arrived there “they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” [Acts 17 v.11] The Scriptures they had, of course, were what we call the Old Testament – what a blessing today at we have both the Old and New Testaments.
Do we have “eagerness” in our hearts and minds to examine the Scriptures – day after day – to build up our knowledge and understanding of the word of God? Once again opposition developed – against Paul. It is a lesson for us to remember that when the Bible was first made available in English – there was a lot of opposition.
The Jews who were opposed to the truth about Jesus “came (to Berea) … agitating and stirring up the crowds.” [v.13] As a result Paul went on to Athens and found the people there were “in every way …very religious.” [v.22], they had ‘invented’ many gods! Paul told them about the one true God, the one who “made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth …” [v.26] and that he is actually not far from each one of us, for “‘In him we live and move and have our being” [v.27,28].
Paul’s words should fascinate us – should cause us deep heart-felt meditation! Most of all – is the climax to his message to them that “God … commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” [v.30,31]
When people “repent” they must then live a Christ-like life – in their thoughts and deeds! Do we? How wonderful that God caused these words, written so long ago, to be preserved and translated for us! Let us make sure we have “received the word with all eagerness” It is the only message that gives eternal meaning to our lives; let us make sure we are ‘holding’ it in our hearts “with all eagerness.”