We continued our voyage from Tyre and landed at Ptolemais, where we greeted the brothers and sisters and stayed with them for a day. Leaving the next day, we reached Caesarea and stayed at the house of Philip the evangelist, one of the Seven. He had four unmarried daughters who prophesied. After we had been there a number of days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. Coming over to us, he took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, “The Holy Spirit says, ‘In this way the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and hand him over to the Gentiles.’” (Acts 21:7-11)
Imagine this scene and its characters. Philip, one of the original seven deacons appointed in the Jerusalem church, led the Ethiopian Eunoch to a relationship with Jesus. Agabus predicted the famine in Jerusalem—the reason Paul took an offering there. He was one of the leaders in the Antioch church with Paul and likely was with the twelve apostles in the upper room on the day of Pentecost. (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agabus)
With the power of the Holy Spirit, Agabus traveled on foot for two days from Judea to Caesarea. He warned Paul that his journey to Jerusalem would likely result in death. The Jewish leaders would seize him, just like they did Jesus, and give him to the Gentiles for punishment.
Drama begins when Agabus enters the room with four other prophets, Philip, and Paul. He grabs Paul’s sash (belt) and binds himself to demonstrate not only what will happen to Paul but how much God loves Paul. “For as a belt is bound around the waist, so I bound all the people of Israel and all the people of Judah to me,” declares the Lord, “to be my people…but they have not listened.” (Jeremiah 13:11)
Through Agabus, God tells Paul and us that because of His overwhelming love, He has bound us to Himself. Paul doesn’t unbind himself from God or turn a deaf ear to Him because hardship is involved? Will we?
Father, I praise You for binding me to You because You love me. Speak loudly and demonstrate Your will in a way that I’ll understand. Guide me down your pathway and and help me through consequences I may suffer. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.