While Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews of Corinth made a united attack on Paul and brought him to the place of judgment. “This man,” they charged, “is persuading the people to worship God in ways contrary to the law.” Just as Paul was about to speak, Gallio said to them, “If you Jews were making a complaint about some misdemeanor or serious crime, it would be reasonable for me to listen to you. But since it involves questions about words and names and your own law—settle the matter yourselves. I will not be a judge of such things.” So he drove them off. Then the crowd there turned on Sosthenes the synagogue leader and beat him in front of the proconsul; and Gallio showed no concern whatsoever. (Acts 18:12-17)
In yesterday’s Scripture, God promised Paul no one would attack or harm him. But the crowd was angry and determined to strike. Gallio drove the crowd away from Paul, so they attacked Sosthenes instead.
Sosthenes became the new synagogue leader after Crispus turned to Jesus. God loved him and hated that the crowd beat him, but they exercised their free will. He used the beating to open Sosthenes’ eyes to the jealousy involved in the cause of his Jewish colleagues. Not only did Sosthenes turn to Jesus, but he became a leader with Paul. His letter to the Corinthians was also from Sosthenes. “Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and our brother Sosthenes, (1 Corinthians 1:1).
People use free will to harm us too. It’s best to pray for protection but when we’re attacked, God uses the bad for good.
Father, I praise You for changing bad situations into good ones. Protect me and my loved ones, and help me discern when jealousy triggers me. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.