Acts 21: 37And as Paul was to be led into the castle, he said unto the chief captain, May I speak unto thee? Who said, Canst thou speak Greek? 38 Art not thou that Egyptian, which before these days madest an uproar, and leddest out into the wilderness four thousand men that were murderers? 39 But Paul said, I am a man which am a Jew of Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city: and, I beseech thee, suffer me to speak unto the people. 40 And when he had given him licence, Paul stood on the stairs, and beckoned with the hand unto the people. And when there was made a great silence, he spake unto them in the Hebrew tongue, saying, 22: 1 Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my defence which I make now unto you. 2 (And when they heard that he spake in the Hebrew tongue to them, they kept the more silence: and he saith,).
Compare Acts 19 and 21 and you see similar things happening. In chapter 19, the people in Ephesus had gathered the disciples together. They were mad at the disturbance the gospel had caused in the city. A good church was established; the devil was disturbed. Those who had not gotten saved were upset at all that was happening. Then we see hundreds of miles away in Jerusalem, the people were going against Paul. There was no common sense. The crowds were wound up. The people yelled and shook their fists to destroy the disciples and Paul. When Paul tried to speak, the people just got louder. It’s the same today. When the Lord speaks we can acknowledge him by accepting him as Savior or we can let it disturb us and get upset.
Paul got the captain to get him to the staircase in the temple. He beckoned with his hand. That is a reaching out, a wave or motion, to others. There are hands beckoning to us. They reach out for us to listen to him in the midst of life. Paul’s simple motion got everyone’s attention. In this chaotic world we have many hands of Satan beckoning to us. If we pay attention to the hand of God it will make sense of the raging world and open a way for us to find peace. That is the hand and arm of Jesus Christ, God’s Son. There is not a person unaffected by society. Satan works to affect all. It’s a crazy time. There are so many opinions and invitations shoved our way. This is the way. Another says something else. Do you ever feel pulled in different directions? The devil causes the confusion.
Crowds in both Ephesus and Jerusalem were confused. Acts 19:32 says some therefore cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly was confused: and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together. Chapter 21:39 says all the city was moved, and the people ran together: and they took Paul, and drew him out of the temple: and forthwith the doors were shut. I don’t know what to think about our nation and our government anymore, but I do know what to think about the devil. I’m glad someone is on the stairway reaching out to us. There is a stairway from heaven and the devil can’t move it!
Paul was taken to the stairway. He spoke the Greek, Roman, and Jewish language. Aren’t you glad God speaks our language, even our dialect? If you’re running here and there, get to the right place and the right person. Give Jesus a chance. Quit looking at the crowd. People are mixed up and can’t be happy apart from Jesus Christ. There is no peace outside of Jesus. The world and the devil will keep you stirred up and confused. These people were so stirred up they just ran into each other. It’s time to slow down. Let the crowd be crazy. The world has never made sense and never will. Don’t expect it to. As Paul stood on the staircase, he beckoned to the crowd. The effect of his hand caused all to hush. It brought silence. He began to speak in the language of the people in his audience. When they heard Hebrew, they got even quieter. They would not have listened had they not seen his beckoning hand.
There is a hand beckoning today. Many are being led around by the world and the devil. This hand beckons for your attention. Stop. Listen. It’s calling to you saying come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. It says come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. He beckons us with the hands that created the world and hung on the cross. He has living water for your thirsty soul. If you come, he will not cast you out.
What will you do? The reaction of the people in Ephesus was horrible. The people in Jerusalem reacted no better. Your reaction doesn’t have to be like theirs. God can give you something worth living for. The beckoning hand calls you today.