It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us…

Day 188

Prayer for the day

Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy Name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.

Scripture for the day

Job 36-378, Acts 15:22-41

I’ve thought about that phrase many times. “It seemed good the Holy Spirit and to us…” It seems an audacious phrase. Particularly audacious when we consider the words of Elihu.

Elihu has been counting the wonders of God, numbering them for Job to remind Job that God is God and Job is not. He continues to play the “God deals with the wicked this way” card fairly strongly, but in the midst of doing so he points to the unbelievable wonders that God has wrought.

While many of Elihu’s words seem plausible, even wise (or full of perfect knowledge, as Elihu himself states), none of this language has come to Elihu by God himself. This is knowledge and wisdom Elihu is discerning from what he has seen. And it wouldn’t seem all that bad. But he is still espousing human wisdom.

The disciples, on the other hand, make their decision based on what they believe the Holy Spirit to be saying to them. The see the miracles, listen to the stories of transformation, hear the words of the apostles, and they pray. In this way, they come to the decision that God has already blessed the Gentile believers and does not require them to be circumcised in order to join the Kingdom of God.

This decision, they say, was made first by God, and they have concurred with the decision of God (wise of them!). They believe that the Holy Spirit is speaking, has been speaking and will continue to speak, and their only desire is to hear the voice of the Spirit and make their decision based on what God the Spirit has already decided.

May that be our prayer as well.

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