Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | December 11, 2019

“a wise man is he who listens to counsel.”

Today’s devotion comes from Acts 21:15-26.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts+21&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“After we arrived in Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly.  And the following day Paul went in with us to James, and all the elders were present.  After he had greeted them, he began to relate one by one the things which God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry.  And when they heard it they began glorifying God;  and they said to him, “You see, brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews of those who have believed, and they are all zealous for the Law;  and they have been told about you, that you are teaching all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children nor to walk according to the customs.  What, then, is to be done?  They will certainly hear that you have come.  Therefore do this that we tell you.  We have four men who are under a vow; take them and purify yourself along with them, and pay their expenses so that they may shave their heads;  and all will know that there is nothing to the things which they have been told about you, but that you yourself also walk orderly, keeping the Law.  But concerning the Gentiles who have believed, we wrote, having decided that they should abstain from meat sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what is strangled and from fornication.”  Then Paul took the men, and the next day, purifying himself along with them, went into the temple giving notice of the completion of the days of purification, until the sacrifice was offered for each one of them.”   Acts 21:17-26.

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Paul followed the advice of the brethren in Jerusalem.  Paul may also have had on his mind the recent prophecy of Agabus (Acts 21:11) who warned him of the Jews in Jerusalem.

“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
But a wise man is he who listens to counsel.”  Proverbs 12:15.

Paul may also have been generally inclined to respect the customs of the Jews that surrounded him in Jerusalem.

“Render to all what is due them:  tax to whom tax is due;  custom to whom custom;  fear to whom fear;  honor to whom honor.

Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.”  Romans 13:7-8.

Or, Paul may have been specifically concerned about weak consciences of Jewish Christians in Jerusalem.

“But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.  For if someone sees you, who have knowledge, dining in an idol’s temple, will not his conscience, if he is weak, be strengthened to eat things sacrificed to idols?  For through your knowledge he who is weak is ruined, the brother for whose sake Christ died.  And so, by sinning against the brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ.  Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause my brother to stumble.”  1 Corinthians 8:9-13.


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