Hungering and Thirsting for God
Most of this passage is taken up with Paul’s travels through Macedonia and Greece and finally along the coast of Asia Minor south to Miletus. We tend to read over these verses quickly but we are reminded again that ours is a missionary faith that visits real places in the real world with the hope of sharing the real gospel with real people that they may know the real and only true God. (Incidentally, we pick up Luke’s “we” passages again in 20:5-21:17 indicating eye-witness account of these real activities.) We read that Paul encouraged the churches he visited, a much needed gift both then and now. How blessed are those who are able to give a word of encouragement to those who so need to hear it. We also read of yet another plot made against Paul while in Greece (probably in Corinth) that forced him to alter his itinerary; but what of it, wherever Paul went, he ministered the gospel of Jesus Christ.
We have a somewhat humorous account while the missionary band was staying over a week in Troas, humorous because of the ultimate outcome. Paul was preaching. He began in the early evening but was interrupted at about midnight when a young man named Eutychus, sitting in the window (i.e., a hole in the wall), fell asleep and rolled over the wrong way. He fell three stories down and was taken up dead until Paul came and revived him. So naturally the brothers told Paul that they were happy to hear from him and to be sure to come back again after everyone had taken a long nap, especially after such a traumatizing event. Well, not exactly. What they “naturally” did was return to the upper room, three stories high, where Paul continued preaching—till the break of day, sleepyheads notwithstanding.
I have read that in places around the world where our brothers and sisters must worship in hiding, where Bibles in their own language are rare, and where ignorance of the Scriptures abound—these folk will sit or stand in a crowded room with a dirt floor from evening until just before daybreak (they can’t afford to be seen gathering) listening to a preacher expound upon the word of God. They are so hungry. And they risk their lives, families, and livelihoods just to hear it proclaimed. Yeah, Eutychus fell asleep, and we’ll forgive him for that; after all, he had probably worked all day. But few of us have such an excuse. Do we hunger for the word of God? Does knowing, worshiping, and obeying God mean more to us than anything else in the world? If not, it’s not because we’re so full, but because we’re so empty and don’t even know it. Pray for God to give you a greater hunger to know Him.