"and so spake..."


Elder Robert Willis (dec)

As the Apostles went about preaching the gospel, it was not unusual to run into opposition. In fact, it was more the norm than not.  Entering into Iconium, Paul and Barnabas made their way into the local Jewish synagogue and began to speak of the mercy and grace of Jesus Christ. In Acts 14:1 it says, “and so spake”, meaning they preached the gospel in such a way that it was easily understood by those whom the Lord had born again of His Spirit. What manner then did they speak? Paul, in I Corinthians 14:19, said it this way - “Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.” Simply put, they preached in a manner in which those who had ears to hear, would be able to understand their teachings.


While Paul and Barnabas spoke plainly, they spoke boldly in the Lord (Acts 14:3). What then was the result of their preaching? Did all who heard them believe and become all fired up and ready to serve the Lord? No! That was not the case. “A great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed” (Acts 14:1), and many did not as the city was divided between the Jews and the apostles.


There were those Jews who did not believe the truth even though they heard it with their own ears. Have you ever noticed that disbelief goes hand in hand with disobeying? On the other hand, Faith and obedience go together. Hebrews 3:8-13 reminds us of the time when many of God’s children allowed their hearts to become evil in unbelief, and departed from the living God (vs. 12).


When we hear the truth, we then need to become doers of the word, and not just hearers (James 1:22). Paul said in Hebrews 3:18-19, “And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.” Those unbelieving Israelites were not allowed to enter into the Land of Canaan and receive the rest their were looking for.

We pray that we will never harden our hearts (“as in the provocation”), and therefore fail to enter into the rest which God has provided for us while we live on this earth. Jesus declared the following unto His children who were in need of rest, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). What peace, and joy, and rest for our weary souls can be found in serving our Lord and Master. Praise be unto His Holy Name.