- Acts 14:16-20
- Acts 14:16 (KJB)
- Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways.
- Since the fall into sin by Adam and Eve, God had allowed the nations of
this world to adopt their own ways in culture, life, and religion. This was
because God was preparing the world for the first destruction which came
through the worldwide flood of Noah’s day when He destroyed all the pagan
societies of the world. With sin still being in the world even after the
time of Noah, the nations once again adapted false religions and their own
evil ways of life. This sinful progression of the world will continue until
the last day when God judges the world and all its evil systems but this
time they will never rise again because He will create the new Heavens and
the new Earth.
- Acts 14:17 (KJB)
- Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good,
and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with
food and gladness.
- Paul then continues on that even though the nations are evil and they
are in opposition to God, He has shown Himself to be very good in that He
gave the rain from Heaven which allowed the crops to grow and be used for
drinking water. (Mat 5:45 KJV) That ye may be the children of your
Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on
the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
He states this to get his hearers to realize that in spite of all the evil
in this world that God is really the sustainer of all things in this world
and that the human race continues to enjoy all these benefits from the hand
and goodness of God. When the flood of Noah’s day had ended, God decreed the
seasons would be a part of every day life. (Gen 8:22 KJV) While
the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and
winter, and day and night shall not cease. So from
the time of this decree, there will be four seasons per year without fail
until the last day when this present world will end.
- Acts 14:18 (KJB)
- And with these sayings scarce restrained they the people, that they had
not done sacrifice unto them.
- Even though Paul had made the declaration that they were not gods but
there is a true God in Heaven, it did not quell the desire of the crowd to
continue on with the feast. This was probably due to the fact that
accompanying these pagan feast was a lot of eating, drinking, and sexual
activity. Some may have even thought that Paul and Barnabas was testing the
crowd to see if they would go through with the sacrifices. This shows you
how deeply these areas were steeped in false religions. Whatever the reason,
the people did not pay attention and were bent on continuing with the pagan
- Acts 14:19 (KJB)
- And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who
persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of
the city, supposing he had been dead.
- Persuaded - Convinced
- There was no doubt some in the crowd who were listening to Paul speak
because they must have sent word back to Antioch of Pisidia and Iconium
concerning Paul. Remember, Paul and Barnabas were thrown out of Antioch and
the Jews in Iconium wanted to stone Paul. So Jews from both cities had
traveled to Lystra which would not have been a long journey and had somehow
got to address the crowd. Normally the Jews would have nothing to do with
the Gentiles unless, as in this case, it was to oppose the Gospel.
(1 Th 2:15 KJV) Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets,
and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all
men: They wanted all the vestiges of Christianity
gone just as they do today. Their attitudes toward Christ has not changed in
two thousand years.
- Acts 14:20 (KJB)
- Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came
into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.
- Once the crowd had dispersed, the disciples had stood around the body of
Paul. The crowd left because they believed that he was dead. The word for
“rose up” in the Greek carries with it the meaning of resurrection, so Paul
may have died from the stoning. I am sure they would have checked his pulse
to see if he was still alive. What happened here was a resurrection from the
dead performed by God. It had to be a miracle because after a stoning which
had the force to kill someone, Paul rises up and goes back into the city, no
doubt to the home of one of the Christians. Then after that stoning he has
the strength to go from Lystra to Derbe the very next day. That trip would
have been about 80 miles (129 km). Keep in mind in those days, they either
walked, hitched a ride on a wagon or used a horse or donkey, so someone that
was just stoned, taking a ride like that definitely was the recipient of a
miracle by the hand of God.