Acts 9:9

Blades for a wind farm turbine. Total scenery chewers, inefficient, and environmentally unfriendly.

Sunday, 24 July 2022

And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank. Acts 9:9

Note: You can listen to today’s commentary courtesy of our friends at “Bible in Ten” podcast. (Click Here to listen)

You can also read this commentary, with music, courtesy of our friends at “Discern the Bible” on YouTube. (Click Here to listen), or at Rumble (Click Here to listen).

The previous verse saw Saul being led by the hand into the city of Damascus. Now, while there, it says, “And he was three days without sight.”

The Greek is a present participle verb, not a noun. It says, “And he was three days without seeing.” Rather than saying he was blind, as if it was a form of punishment, it says he was without seeing. The meaning is the same, but the choice of words seems purposeful. Paul was given a period of darkness to help him consider his state before God. It is not unlike what occurred in Egypt –

“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, darkness which may even be felt.’ 22 So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days. 23 They did not see one another; nor did anyone rise from his place for three days. But all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.” Exodus 10:21-23

The people of Egypt were not blind, but rather they simply could not see. It is probably during this time that many Egyptians decided they had enough and would join with Israel. The probable timing of the events was the selection of the Passover Lambs followed by the three days of darkness. Once the darkness was over, the mixed multitude that went out of Egypt was probably more than ready to go with them. The darkness was a time to consider what had happened and to choose to follow the right path.

Likewise, Paul was not able to see for three days after having seen Christ. He could consider his life up to this point, meaning his actions that had brought him to where he was now, and then redirect everything he was made of for a new path.

It is not uncommon for scholars to attempt to tie this period in with Paul’s vision of 2 Corinthians 12:1-4. But there is nothing to suggest this and everything to argue against it. Paul says there that he did not know if the vision he had was in the body or out. While in Damascus, he would have known perfectly well that he was in the body. His inability to see would remind him of this. Further, the events in Damascus occurred at a point prior to his conversion and baptism. It is not likely that God would transport him to the “third heaven” prior to his becoming an apostle.

Paul had to first contemplate his state before God and have his mind and heart directed to Him. This was surely the purpose of the state of not being able to see. And more, it next says of him, “and neither ate nor drank.”

Both of these speak of intake. Combined with the inability to intake new information through his eyes, he was left with the basic senses of hearing and feeling. Thus, his mind would be far more attuned to what was important without the distractions of sight and food. This was a time of reflection and he used it as such by not filling himself with physical food, but with the spiritual food of thought and contemplation.

Life application: There are times in our lives when great decisions need to be made. At such times, redirecting our senses to the Lord in a greater way than we normally would is to be considered. When we are bombarded with a constant stream of information coming in, these things can only confuse the mind and distract it from what is most important.

If you have important decisions to make, a time of quiet, prayer, and even fasting may be called for. Cutting out the externals that can draw our attention away from proper focus should always be considered and acted upon based on the surrounding circumstances.

Lord God, there is a lot to distract us in our daily lives. And there are times when we need to not be distracted. Give us wisdom when such times arise to put away the things that fill our normal daily life and to focus on seeking You more fully. In this, we will be prepared to more rightly decide what we should do. Give us wisdom in this, O God. Amen.