Acts Chapter Sixteen part 2, A study of Acts 16:6, Acts 16:7 - 10, Acts 16:11 & 12, and Acts 16:13 with our Common Man's Commentary

Acts 16:6

"Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia." NIV translation

At first glance, this verse may seem odd and you may ask yourself: Why didn't God want them to go to Asia? and Wouldn't it have been good for them to go and preach in Asia? But, here we see that, instead of doing what Paul wanted, they followed the prompting of the Holy Spirit. God has his purpose and plan for us in all things and, though we may not understand at the time, his ways are perfect and we should follow.

Acts 16:7 - 10

"When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, 'Come over to Macedonia and help us.' After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them" NIV translation

This is a great example of how God has plans for each of us and that, if we are listening, God will speak to us and guide us. Paul and the group had in their own mind what they wanted to do to serve God but the Spirit stopped them.

When Paul saw the vision, he rightly stopped and turned his attention to what God was saying and they immediately followed. The key is that we must learn to listen to God and trust him to lead us.

Acts 16:11 & 12

"From Troas we put out to sea and sailed straight for Samothrace, and the next day on to Neapolis. From there we traveled to Philippi, a Roman colony and the leading city of that district of Macedonia. And we stayed there several days." NIV translation

The group traveled to Philippi, in Macedonia, which was named after King Philip of Macedonia. There was only a small number of Jews in the city at this time and no synagogue.

Acts 16:13

"On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there." NIV translation

At first glance, this verse is sort of puzzling. Why would they expect to find a place of prayer at the river and not have a synagogue? The simple answer is that a minyan was required to establish a synagogue and to do certain Jewish prayers. A minyan is ten Jewish men and evidently there were not that many Jewish men in Philippi at that time.

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