i have wondered why so many seemingly rational people make really bad choices that effect others in a huge way. i wonder this mostly in churches, where politics rule the day and love often goes out the window. Leave it to God's infallible word to set me straight..
i suggest you read Acts 13:15-52. it's a long passage with so much depth that i fear i can only offer you just a tidbit of insight.
done reading?? well then you can go on.. if not REALLY truly AbSOLUTLY GOOOOOO read it for yourself..!!
Paul is pulled to his feet and asked to give and encouraging word.. he does, but he does in such a way that he shows the Gospel in the listeners own history. He tells them of their own background, and then shows them how God orchestrated it... this in itself is amaxing. Then, after he shares.. the people want to hear more, the Gospel has that effect on people when it's preached. You feel like you can never get enough. it's like wanting more of God and it's exactly where God wants you. Paul urges these people to continue in the grace of God.. i think in a way, foreshadowing the next few verses.
read verse 44.
it's a whole week later. what can happen in a week for a group of religious folks who don't like the way someone does ministry? lots. I've seen it happen. the text says that the Jews saw the crowds around Paul (Barnabas was there as well) and they were jealous.
i can only speculate what they were jealous about exactly. My fear is that they saw God moving in Paul's life and it affected the people around them. ministry in it's truest purest form. the Jealous wanted what Paul had.
They could have had it, but they were blind to their need of it. a blindness i think God orchestrated, but why?
well, verse 50 tells us that the really devout religious women and the leaders (who were all men) were lead by the Jealous to kick Paul and Barnabas out of the city.
yep, in the middle of very effective ministry to the lost people of the city.... Paul and Barnabas just had to leave. no farewell party, no severance package, no long drawn out goodbyes, no facebook to keep in touch. just gone.
do you think that God was orchestrating this event in this place? sure He was. He used the group of devout men and women to further the Gospel in such as way that if they hadn't kicked Paul and Barnabas out, the verse in Acts 14:1 would be a whole lot different.