Question:,Acts 22 :17 “When I returned to Jerusalem and was praying at the temple, I fell into a trance 18and saw the Lord speaking. ‘Quick!’ he said to me. ‘Leave Jerusalem immediately, because they will not accept your testimony about me.’,19” ‘Lord,’ I replied, ‘these men know that I went from one synagogue to another to imprison and beat those who believe in you. 20And when the blood of your martyr[a] Stephen was shed, I stood there giving my approval and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.’,21″Then the Lord said to me, ‘Go,I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’ “,The trance he is talking about occurs during his seven days in purification rites mentioned in Acts 21. This is before the crowd accosts him. After this he is imprisoned and sent to Caesarea. He doesn’t immediately go. (I had to read Acts 19-23 to figure this out.) ,Paul loved his people and wanted them saved and believed that they would listen. Would this be an example of disobedience that God uses to glorify himself?,It looks like God was compelling Paul to leave before he was beaten by the crowd.,Answer:,You may be right, but I have always assumed Paul is talking about an earlier visit to Jerusalem. We know he visited Jerusalem a total of at least three times. Acts 9:26-30 is his first visit to Jerusalem. To me, a natural reading of Acts 22:17f is to assume it applies to the visit found in Acts 9:26-30. If that is the case, then it does not illustrate your point that sometimes God can use our lack of obedience to his own ends. I am not saying that this is not true (that God can even use our stubborn hearts to his glory), but that I do not believe Acts 22 is a good example of this principle.,John Oakes

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