9 One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. 10 For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.” 11 So Paul stayed in Corinth for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God.
Until now, Paul has primarily evangelized only to the Jews, but in verse 6, Paul was opposed by the Jews and decided to stop proselyting to them and to move on to the gentiles. It was during his stay in Corinth that Paul received this word of protection from the Lord. It was most likely since Paul experienced recent attacks against him in other cities (Acts 17:5,13) and in Corinth itself (1Acts 8:6)
Interestingly the word used for ‘people’ in 18:10 is laos, often used to refer to God’s people – His chosen nation: Israel. Quite clearly, the Lord’s plans for the salvation of the world meant that the church temporarily was to take the place of His Chosen People, the Jews (cf. Rom. 11:11–21).
Such employment of wordplay was not only encouraging to Paul’s readers, but it should also be encouraging to us today. Not only do we get to enjoy a salvific inclusion, but we also get the privilege to tell others about this amazing gift called the gospel.
Thoughts for the day
- What does this passage tell you about God or Jesus?
- What does this passage tell you about humanity?
- What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
- How can you apply this message in an area of your life that needs transformation?
- Is there anyone you think should hear or will benefit from this message? Go and tell them.
Reflect on a promise from the Bible. For example: “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13.