Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia,…
It may be laid down as a canon, that the facts marking periods of special gifts and special inspiration and special "dispensations" point to principles available for other periods in the whole history of the Church and the world. What might otherwise seem among the driest historical or sometimes almost geographical statements are accordingly threaded together by an invisible bond of connection, which lends them abundant interest. And here, from the apparently bare narration that is given us of where Paul and Silas went, where they did not go, and where they wished to go but were overruled, we may learn -
I. THE REALITY OF THE SPIRIT'S PROFFERED CONDUCT OF THE CHURCH.
II. THE ABSOLUTE ERROR INVOLVED IN NOT SEEKING, OR NOT FOLLOWING, THE TRACKS OF THE SPIRIT.
III. THE CLEAR DIRECTION THE SPIRIT MAY BE RELIED ON TO GIVE TO A REALLY FERVENT LOVE, EARNEST PURPOSE, AND ACTUAL ZEAL.
IV. THE CONFIDENCE THAT MAY BE INSPIRED, AMID ALL THE WEAKNESS OF A MERE HUMAN HEART, IN THE UNERRING AND UNFAILING ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE SPIRIT.
V. THE "COMFORT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT" FOR THOSE WHO SURRENDER THEIR GOINGS AND THEMSELVES TO HIS LEADING. Devout musings, holy feelings, and right resolves will be as much and more to them than" vision" or dream? Nor would that comfort be least gratefully felt and acknowledged, when across the famed straits Paul heard an unusual voice, in the accents of an all too unusual prayer. At a moment's glance he saw why he had been prevented from halting, nor suffered to turn to the right hand or to the left, that he might the rather now come direct to Europe, and there preach and plant the gospel. And to see the meaning of all was comfort and "joy of faith" for him. - B.
Parallel VersesKJV: Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia,