Divine Intervention

Friday, September 20, 2013
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The civil war in Syria has been in the news for a couple of years now. At the beginning of September, it was estimated that over 100,000 people had lost their lives, almost two million had fled to surrounding countries, and over four million had been displaced within their own country. The numbers are staggering, and it is impossible to comprehend the sufferings of individuals and families.

One night recently we saw a television report of some Christians worshipping in Damascus — brothers and sisters in Christ worshipping God in a war-torn country. It was inspiring to witness their expression of faith under very difficult, dangerous circumstances.

That made me think about the early Christians, and how they feared, suffered, were captured, and often, taken away and killed.

Acts 9:1-2 – Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. (NKJV)

But then the Lord intervened.

Acts 9:3-4 – As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?" (NKJV)

In October of 1973, I was on a business trip to Damascus, and I took some time one morning to look around the inner city. A young lad from a shop where I bought a few things to take home offered to show me around. We walked through the market and went to the Great Mosque and some other places of interest. Then he took me to the street called Straight, and I marvelled at the fact that this was where Saul was taken after his conversion on the road to Damascus, right there to Straight Street, the very place where the Christians of Damascus worshipped and where they are still worshipping the risen Lord.

The Lord intervened in Saul's plans to persecute the early believers. He heard the Lord, he believed, he was baptized, and "Immediately he preached Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God." (Acts 9:20 NKJV)

The Christians and all the other people of Syria are suffering at the present time, and it seems that neither diplomacy nor the threat of outside military intervention will change this. It is going to take divine intervention to bring peace to that region. This is something that we should all pray for.

Prayer: Our Father in heaven, we pray for the residents of the war-torn country of Syria. We ask that You would speak to the hearts of those people who have the ability to change things so that they can live in peace without fear of death and destruction. We pray that You would speak to them as You spoke to Saul on the way to Damascus, and that Your name be praised. We ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.

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About the author:

Joel Jongkind <austria67@bmts.com>
Meaford, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Wonderful thoughts Joel.

    Lovely Joel, thanks for sharing.

    Thanks for your words today. Blessings.

    Don’t know if you come this way often, but would love to meet you.

    Joel – A good report and a good reminder to pray for our brothers and sisters who are living under the threat of persecution.

    Amen to that, Joel.
    I am often burdened to pray for the people of Syria. Their suffering is unimaginable.

    Thank you, Joel, for your devotional today. Unfortunately, I take for granted that war-torn region and forget that it is about individuals and Christian, especially, are persecuted.

    Hi Joel,
    We can all join you in prayer for that poor country. It is really a case now of: “Only concentrated fervent prayer is going to solve that problem.” If we have not yet heard God saying, ”Bring the problem to Me” We need to do so very soon.
    God Bless.

    Dear Joel,
    What a fascinating experience to have visited this ancient city mentioned in the bible! I would love to hear more about it sometime. It’s interesting to see the photos of “Straight Street” on the internet; one day I would like to write something about Paul’’s experience there. Thank you for sharing this timely message –as you mentioned, the people of Syria desperately need our prayers.

    Dear Joel,
    Thank you for writing as you have done.
    Yes, God can intervene as He did in the time of Saul/Paul.
    I pray (with you, Joel) for a vital change of heart of those bound in false beliefs and actions — for those who are persecuting and killing. May they become Your people, Lord Jesus, knowing that you are the Way, the Truth, and The Light of Life for now and for eternity.
    In Your name we pray, Lord. Amen.

    Joel – A good report and a good reminder to pray for our brothers and sisters who are living under the treat of persecution.

    Good morning, Joel,
    Another wonderful morning devotional yesterday! How much I enjoy waking up to your thoughtful messages via this website of our national church. You are to be commended for extending your ministry in this way, as I am sure your insight is inspirational to many. May God continue to bless you as you lead others in His way.

    Greetings in Christ, brother Joel:
    I see we have more things in common than our love for the Lord.
    I see you have been in the Middle East where I was born of non-Muslim non-Arab but of Indo-European stock and I know the Middle East well. However, I have spent most of my life in our wonderful country of Canada where I married my dear Christian wife.

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