Acts 14:19 (KJV) 19 And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead.
They were stoned!!! This is crazy. Just prior to the arrival of the antagonists, the people were worshiping Paul and Barnabas as “gods.” Totally wrong. The apostles tried really hard to stop them, and explained to them Who the True God is; they were trying to educate them to truth, but they were persistent. They were full of zeal, but without knowledge. As quickly as them concluding that the apostles were divine, they also quickly changed their minds; persuasive words from the enemies caused them to join in and stone the apostle Paul. Forget about the amazing visible miracles, compelling words turned them away – just like that.
Zeal without knowledge is dangerous; it could lead to a lot of errors. It could harm us and hurt a lot of people. Zeal is good, but not without knowledge. Knowledge is good, but not without zeal. Both have to be present. We have to know the truth. And we have to have absolute truths as our non-negotiable foundation for our convictions. Without it, we will just be like directionless waves, tossed every which way by every wind of human opinion. And as we can easily notice, there’s a lot of opposing opinions. This is why we get a barrage of attacks. So many people today are very zealous – so passionate about their beliefs. They’re full convinced that they’re helping others – even saving them from dangerous people by presenting us as uneducated simpletons who are out to stall and hurt humanity’s progress. Why believe a three thousand year old archaic writings? For them it doesn’t make sense. They conclude that what we believe are irrelevant to our generation. They can’t explain why of course except for the fact that it contradicts their own beliefs, opinions and lifestyles. They’re passionate, but without any knowledge. Or, if they have knowledge, it’s not based on an authoritative source or foundation. We can expect continuing attacks. But let’s hold on. As the old saying goes “Truth will always prevail,” and may I add: In His time.
Dear God and Father, our one true God, the Truth, our Protector, may we live with zeal and knowledge. Please give us the wisdom to march forward unflinchingly with the Truth. Please give us the wisdom to be ready always to give an answer to every man who asks us why we believe what we believe. Please give us the courage to stand our unshakable foundation in the presence of a very antagonistic world. Please lead our steps to those whose hearts are ready to listen, understand, believe, persevere and grow with us.