I was reading Acts chapter 13 with a group of kiddos this morning at church.
In this chapter, there is a false prophet, this sorcerer, a man whose name was Elymas. Elymas stood in the way of the Governor’s hunger to hear God’s message and Paul and Barnabas who wanted to share it with him. Paul stopped to address the man. He spoke to Elymas pretty firmly and said,
“…When will you stop perverting the truth of God with lies? At this very moment the hand of God’s judgment comes down upon you and you will be blind—so blind you won’t even be able to see the light of the sun.” As Paul spoke these words, a shadowy mist and darkness came over the sorcerer, leaving him blind and groping about, begging someone to lead him around by the hand…” (Acts 13:9-12 tpt)
Wait a minute. Let’s review. Paul stopped and addressed this man. His words; “You will be blind.”
Before we could read on or I could say anything, a child spoke up and offered, “Isn’t that what God did to him (Paul)?”
The whole room paused.
Wow. How insightful. How profound.
This dear one, her eyes and her ears so pure, offered a whole new perspective of this story, reminding us that Paul too had once been blinded by God.
At that moment, we altogether realized that these words of Paul came from his desire for this man, Elymas, to experience the real living, loving, life-changing Jesus… like he did. For when Paul met Jesus, he too was physically blind for several days… but his heart eyes saw for the very first time, and it changed everything.
Paul went from being self-righteous, hateful, domineering, and murderous to being filled with passion for every person to know the love of God and how good He is.
To Paul, blindness represented the best thing that ever happened to him, not the worst.
Blindness represented his most treasured experience of holy, beautiful, loving Jesus, and forgiveness, and another chance at life… new life!
The account of this story, if read through quickly, if taken at face value without exploring it, could have been hard to understand in God’s heart. The judgement of blindness and the strong words with which it came could sound really harsh. But this story is actually overflowing with the mercy and grace of God for this man that could change his life in the best way. It was a blessing, not a curse!
Oh to see Scripture like a child does. They teach me the heart of God over and over again, leaving me undone at the beauty of our Jesus. He is so good!!