Because some Jews had plotted against Paul just as he was about to sail for Syria, he decided to go back through Macedonia. Acts 20:1-6 (Acts 20:3)
After tha riot and ruckus in Ephesus, Saul Paul, Silas, and Luke bid tha disciples good-bye and set off fer Macedonia. Thar Saul Paul went through tha area spouting many words of encouragement ter tha believers until at last he arrived in Corinth whar he stayed three months. During this time in Corinth Saul Paul penned these words:
To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 1:7).
Thus, while he waited fer tha winter weather ter abate, Saul Paul wrote words of encouragement ter tha believers in Rome.
When tha three months be up and jest as they whar about ter set sail fer Syria and head on up ter Jerusalem, some Jews made plans ter kill Saul Paul. Most likely they wanted Saul Paul dead fer tha message he spake, but also ’cause he had gathered a good deal of wealth from tha churches fer tha believers in Judea suffering persecution.
This be Saul Paul’s way: encouraging and gathering funds fer those believers who be oppressed. Ah good many times we think we got a hard go of it, that tha rowing we do be back-breaking work. And often times that be tha case. Only back in those days in Judea and Samaria near ’bout all believers faced hardship and peril ever day. Economic persecution agin tha church be fierce. Jealous Jews continued to round up believers and toss ’em in ter prison.
Tha Son warned such hardship would come ter believers:
“If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also (John 15:19-20).
Encouragement, admonishment, assistance: those be tha resources Saul Paul brung ter believers. Kin we say we deliver tha same ter feller believers? Doth we pray fer, write ter, send funds ter, offer words of hope, encouragement, and correction? Of doth we jest let folks drift along with wind and currents on whatever course they sail without any regard fer thar safety?
Sensing this band of pirates meant them harm, Saul Paul, Silas, and Luke left tha port of Cenchrea and back-tracked through Macedonia. Thar crew of Sopater from Berea, Aristarchus and Secundus from Thessalonica, Gaius from Derbe, Tim, and Tychicus and Trophimus from the province of Asia, went on ahead and waited for ’em at Troas. Once Saul Paul, Silas, and Luke reached Philippi, tha three went aboard ah ship bound fer Troas.
What began with ah riot in Ephesus devolved in ter ah murderous plot ter kill Saul Paul and rob believers of assistance. Only, think on this ah wee little bit: Saul Paul, through tha nudging of tha Holy Ghost of Truth, left fer Jerusalem by ah nudder way. Years earlier, some wise fellers, ‘aving been warned in ah dream not ter go back ter Herod, returned ter thar country by ah nudder route (Matthew 2:12). Soon after tha wise fellers took off, Joseph, tha earthly step-dad of tha Son, got ah divine warning.
An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” (Matthew 2:13)
Be fer that, Skipper instructed Moses on which direction ter head off.
“Tell the Israelites to turn back and encamp near Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea. They are to encamp by the sea, directly opposite Baal Zephon. Pharaoh will think, ‘The Israelites are wandering around the land in confusion, hemmed in by the desert.’ And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them. But I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.” (Exodus 14:1-4)
In all ways and at all times Skipper be seeking ter bring glory ter himself — ter draw all folks ter himself. Sometimes he ‘ill warn his own of trouble and advise that we take another route. It be on us ter pay attention and obey.
By listening ter tha Holy Ghost of Truth, Saul Paul spared his life and preserved tha funds meant fer tha believers.
Make it yer task ter keep year ears close ter tha ground and near ’bout always right next ter tha feet of tha Son. Do this and ya ‘ill know fer certain that tha course ya sail be one marked out fer ya by Skipper. Might not always be a pleasant passage, but if ya be sailing with tha Son, yer soul ‘ill be in good hands, ya may lay ter that.