1 Kings 9:1—10:29
We are looking at one of God’s Merciful Rests here. The centralized worship has been reinstated along with a recommitment to worshiping God the way he asks them to. God reiterated to Solomon that if you sow into Me than you will have blessings but if you sow into idol worship you will receive curses. God would use them as a good example or a bad example but either way he would use them to teach the watching world who He is and that idol worship was a sin. Wonder why He takes so many pages of the OT to teach us about idol worship? Maybe perhaps because we are all prone to idol worship? That is, worshipping things that are not God. Just a thought!
We then get to see that, for the time being, what God is doing in Israel is catching the watching worlds attention. God is growing the little slave nation into a powerful example of God’s goodness.
Acts 8: 14-40
So, do we have to have the apostles lay hands on us to receive the Holy Spirit? Do we have to go to some sort of gathering to get it? Come closer, listen to me, NO!!!! At this spot on the timeline God is doing something new with the Holy Spirit. Christ has just ascended, and He is using the Apostles to teach us what this new Church thing will be about. And if we remember from what Christ has already told us, the watching world will learn about God through the Church because they will know us for our love. We have to be unified.
Remember the women at the well? Remember how we discovered it was so shocking for Jesus to talk to her because she was a Samaritan? Well the gospel has reached Samaria and these guys were baptized to identify themselves with Jesus before He ascended. When the Spirit came at Pentecost, God withheld it from these Samaritans for a purpose. He wanted His Apostles to go to them, lay hands on them to receive the Spirit, to prove to the watching world that God is not prejudice with His message. The act of these Jewish Apostles laying hands on these Samaritan believers is HUGE! It would have shown everyone that God approved of these believes because they received the Spirit. The Gospel is for everyone and the Church has to get over their prejudices and be unified so we can be known for our love. Can I get an Amen?
I am going to offend some people here and I am sorry if I hurt your feelings. But I would rather hurt your feelings and have you be free of sin, than never hurt your feelings. What Simon is interested in, “buying the power of the Spirit” is very much a part of our world today. Getting the power of the Spirit to give us a quick fix is not the Gospel. On our spot on the timeline, God works mostly in processes. We have to train our minds to see the everyday miracles going on. We cannot fall into the trap of wanting the power of the Spirit for ourselves. That is not how He works. Can God do quick fixes? FOR SURE! He made the universe; He can do anything. Simon missed that point and what was really going on in this “laying on of hands.” It was to show that the message is for everyone not instruction on how to “receive the Spirit” If you believe in Christ, you already received it. Now whether you listen to him or not is another story.
Already at my word limit but wanted you to know what Psalm and Proverb to read today!