The Book of Acts: Chapter 28 (pt 1 of 15)

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As many of you know, I love the Scriptures, All of them: Old and New (or I as prefer, earlier and latter). There are 66 books in the Bible and each one is unique and provides additional information, The Book of Beginnings ends with descendants of Abraham entering Egypt as honored guests, and then when we begin Exodus, they are slaves. Interestingly, from the close of the last chapter of Genesis to the beginning of the book of Exodus, are about 350 years—and those came and went rather silently. For whatever reason, God doesn’t bother to tell us much about what went on in Egypt—how it changed from them being honored guests to slaves.

It is as if God simply forgot about poor Israel, languishing away in the heat and forced labor that had become their lot. Now I bet the majority of those Hebrews must have felt that God had, indeed, abandoned them.

One of the greatest analogies I heard, ia that God was making a cake. Oh, I see that crossed-eyed look. As this analogy goes, God had carefully selected the ingredients to make Israel (a man who would believe Him); then He mixed them until properly blended and next set the mixture in an oven to be baked. He set His heavenly timer for exactly the amount of time He knew He would need for this Hebrew cake to rise and to become usable . . . 400 years to be precise . . . and waited. Although He undoubtedly monitored the baking process, in general, there was no need for Him to do much on His part. The cake would remain in the oven until the timer went off, and it was finished baking. When He opened the oven, “POP,” out came Israel. There was no need to tell us the all details of what went on during the time Israel was baking in the oven of Egypt. So, the Bible contains almost nothing about those years.

Look at the Book of Jonah. We could call its ending, an “Alfred Hitchcock ending.” What I mean, it is not what we would have expected. How can you be comfortable about a prophet wanting to watch innocent children die and talking back to God when he is rebuked for it? Then there are the “feel good endings,” like in the last chapter of the Book of Ruth. There is also the disputed ending of the Gospel of Mark and the postscript ending of the Gospel of John.

The conclusion to the Book of Acts is unique in a different way—we don’t get the answer to some very curious questions: For instance, why don’t we have an account of Paul standing before Caesar? Why don’t we have any accounts of one rescue after another which enable Paul to get to Rome, and then in the final chapter of the book, we don’t hear anything about his trial, and particularly its outcome?

If interested, you can download the entire study of The Story of Acts

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