Read Acts 14:8–18; Psalm 19:1–6; and Romans 1:18–32.
Summary: P&B move out of Iconium to Lystra and Derbe, smaller towns in the Lycaonians region. They preach and do miracles, but face a new challenge, the people want to worship them as gods rather than worship the true God of their message. P&B mourn, tearing their clothes, and attempt to set the people straight.
6. a. Preach first.
b. He listened and had faith to be healed
7. They were the messengers. They could not be confused with the master. The people wanted to accredit worship to them, which was the same as denying the only true on worthy of worship, God.
8. a. They worshiped “worthless things”. They had been allowed to go their own way.
b. Turn / No Longer — Worthless / Futile
9. a. There is no “ignorance” defense for not believing. God’s power and divine nature are evident in all creation and His work and blessings have been ongoing: rain, crops, food, abundance.
b. From all creation. From the bible. From Believers. From a thorough examination: it is the explanation with the least “leap of faith”.
c. It stands in opposition to their gods and belief system. Zeus is a child of Uranus and Earth. Hermes is a messenger These are man made gods as opposed to the one true God who created all.
Conclusion: The area that Paul and Barnabas are now in is a very large elevated plain. See this photo of the area. The area was ideal for raising sheep and the King of Galatia is said to have had as many as 300 flock of sheep of his own (anywhere from 12,000 to over 100,000 head of sheep) in this area, not counting those privately owned. Sadly, the people of the area appear, at least at this time, to be much more comfortable being sheep than shepherds. Interesting to note that the greek word, Lycaonia, literally means Wolf Land!
They speak a very different dialect and appear to have a difficult time seeing the depth and power of Paul’s message. They see the miracle, but like so many today, they can not see the bigger picture and try to process the miracle within their jaded mindset.
I recently read the formal report of a cardiologist who went to Joplin. He saw first hand the miracles that happened. People huddles in a closet who survive only to find the only walls in their house still standing is this one closet, or those lying in a bathtub who open their eyes to find their entire driveway and house ripped away, but their bathtub untouched. Through it, he first had heard the stories of the winged ladies who sheltered and protected these people. He knew it to be true enough that he wrote of it in his official newsletter to all patients and partners. But felt compelled to add the line “people have to believe in something.”