Acts 9:6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. 7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. 8 And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. 9 And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.
If we were forming an outline for this study we would have:
Paul the Terrorist (Monday’s study)
Paul the Terrorized (Tuesday’s study)
Paul the Transformed (today’s study)
The Bible says that God allowed Saul to remain in total darkness for three days. During those three days a number of important things happened.
1. Saul Was Forced Into a Time of Self-examination
The normal desire for all of us is to be delivered from our storms as quickly as possible. Yet scripture teaches us that God often uses storms to take us deep into our souls so that we may weigh out what it is that we really believe. Later in his life Paul wrote – “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation…” (2 Cor 7:10 NIV) Often it is during our times of deep introspection that we make some of our most important decisions.
2. Saul Was Isolated in a Time of Prayer and Fasting
The Bible says that Saul had neither food nor water during those three days. No doubt this was a self-imposed time of fasting that accompanied his heart-felt prayer. Acts 9:11 says of Paul during this time of isolation: “… behold, he prayeth.” What do you suppose Saul prayed about? No doubt it began with confession of all known sin. Then perhaps it developed into a desire to know more about Christ and His will. Finally it matured into a determination to serve Christ – whatever the cost
3. Saul Was Taught What It Means to Be in Spiritual Darkness
During his time in physical darkness, Saul began to see what it means to be in spiritual darkness. Years later Paul said that it was during this time-period that the Lord spoke to him. What did Jesus say? “For I have appeared unto thee for this purpose …to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. (Acts 26:16-18) Saul’s physical darkness was a perfect illustration of what it means to be in spiritual darkness.
The transformation of Saul’s life was nothing less that miraculous. Only the power of God could cause a man to make such a drastic change. I pray that the same can be said of each of us as well.