This particular verse I think shows two very important and very obvious points. These new followers were anticipating receiving the Word, and they searched the Scriptures to see if what they heard was truth.
What does it mean to receive the word with all readiness? There is an eagerness to learn, this group of people Paul went to talk to were excited to hear what he had to say and make sure he was brining truth.
Can we speculate a minute? Some opinion here, just want to make this obvious. Could the written Word they were referring to be the Old Testament that the Jews in the synagogue had access to? The prophets in the Old Testament and the written words of Moses prophesized about the coming Messiah, so could that be what they were looking to compare spirits teachings?
This particular group of people in Berea were more open minded than Jews in other places like Thessalonica. They were looking for truth – not merely hoping upon it like falling into a hole in the ground covered with leaves. Oops, well since we fell down here. That’s not how we grow. We search for it. God promises we will find truth if we seek with all our hearts (Jeremiah 29:13).
Can you imagine waiting for Messiah to come and then get word He’s here? I can imagine the excitement the people who were taught their whole lives that they were going to receive a Savior who would change the game and He may or may not come in their life time but then all social media, er, gossip at the well is saying He may actually be here?! I can feel the excitement. Is it Him? Who does this guy say He is and does He fulfill our prophets claims? How do they find out? They search His words. Oh He does! Paul is now telling us Jesus is Christ – man and God and He raised from the dead? This is Him and the people who stayed open minded and looked for wisdom received.
How does this apply to us today – since we know this foundational truth they were looking for to determine our Savior – we are past that? Do you ever hear voices telling you something you need to do and you aren’t sure if what you heard was from God or just you telling yourself something or possibly the other nasty voices that play up there too trying to confuse you?
When God speaks it always lines up with His words. Is it true? Is it loving? Does what you think He’s saying line up with His character? In my experience, His voice is always calm and never rushed.
A little story from my past: My youngest daughter has autism and we learned that before she was 2. I honestly didn’t think her state of health could decline but boy I was wrong. Right around her 4th birthday she had caught another fever virus – and with her immune deficiency diagnosis she caught everything. I didn’t think much of it until the third day she had it she had a big lacy rash all over her body. Gosh, she’s had this Roseola at least twice, maybe this is the 3rd time. After she had woken up that day and I realized this, she became completely different.
She was inconsolable, moaned non-stop, hummed, rolled her eyes multiple, multiple times. As the days went on she started having irrational fears and would flail her arms and legs around as she laid on the ground, wouldn’t let us touch her. Stephen – my husband – and I looked at each other and thought, is she possessed? It was terrifying. We lost her again. I couldn’t believe it.
We took her to an integrative medicine doctor – he confirmed what I had heard horror stories about. A PANS/PANDAS diagnosis. This is where viruses can’t be shed from the body and they host up in the brain and spinal cord where they change behaviors a child/adolescent can’t control. Our doctor told us we had the highest viral titers of a child ever in his 30 years of practice.
I went home that night and cried some more. Ya’ll I didn’t think I could cry any more than I had since she slipped into this mess. Now I have new fears. I lay in bed awake trying to fall asleep the night after her appointment and I hear, “She could probably die from this high amount of virus in her little body.”
“God, is my baby going to die from this?” Then I fell asleep.
The next morning I woke up and I went for getting up before everyone else, made some French press coffee and kept the lights low. As I strained to see through not awake yet and cried the night before eyes – what Bible verse to look up for the Bible study I was doing – I looked up John 11:4 – When He heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”
I balled. And it was the wrong verse for my study. I was supposed to go to 1 John 1-4. I was supposed to go exactly to that previous verse because as He has said, His Word is living and powerful. It gave me everything I needed to have hope when I was so struggling. I then wrote it over my sink where I would leave a verse or possibly some things to not forget. And then I had the encouragement to keep seeking God on how He would use this horrible thing for His glory and y’all…..He did. He took away that PANS flare after He led me to the set of verses at the end of James telling us to take the sick to the church and have them anointed and prayed over.
She stopped all the seizure activity, the constant humming, the flailing and everything that kept her totally miserable. It was in Jesus’ name she was healed from that flare and we have never seen one that terrible since. That was 5 years ago. My God is great. And He gave us Jesus and His name.
I hope my story is encouraging and you all have similar stories I would love to hear about when God spoke through His Word to you and your situation! Please write us and let us know!