Acts 10:9-23 – About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. 10 He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11 He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. 12 It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds.13 Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.” 14 “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.” 15 The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” 16 This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven. 17 While Peter was wondering about the meaning of the vision, the men sent by Cornelius found out where Simon’s house was and stopped at the gate. 18 They called out, asking if Simon who was known as Peter was staying there. 19 While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Simon, three men are looking for you. 20 So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them.” 21 Peter went down and said to the men, “I’m the one you’re looking for. Why have you come?” 22 The men replied, “We have come from Cornelius the centurion. He is a righteous and God-fearing man, who is respected by all the Jewish people. A holy angel told him to ask you to come to his house so that he could hear what you have to say.” 23 Then Peter invited the men into the house to be his guests.
“About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray.” We see the Lord’s plan coming together. The crescendo is building. Peter is going about his normal day. He was going to the roof to pray. Let’s note that Peter was in the routine of praying three times a day, as was a routine of devout Jews. Secondly, that Peter was unsuspecting that what God had set in motion was about to come to the gate of the house that he was staying in. These men sent from the Centurion have traveled thirty miles in one day. They were fixed on accomplishing their mission and may have walked through the night. They were displaying instant and exact obedience to their master
“He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance.” It was about noon and Peter, as he was praying and a meal was being prepared for him was hungry. Still, he did not allow his hunger to distract him, he prayed and “fell into” a trance. This word trance has a blend of meanings. It is a radical changed state of mind. Peter did not just become sleepy. He was focusing on God, as He did his state of mind was changed. This is not subtle but comes with it a throwing out of the usual state of mind into an alien state of mind. We are not talking about a mind void of thought, but a mind void of all thought other than a focus on God. It is an ability that is learned and improved upon by repetition. It is a state of clearing one’s mind to be ready to receive from God. The Holy Spirit came upon Peter and prepared him to receive a message from God.
“He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners.” Peter knew the origin of what was approaching him. It is not said that he thought the sheet was from Heaven. No Peter saw Heaven open. He saw Heaven open and something begin to descend down to him. Wow!
The KJV states that a “certain vessel: was descending from Heaven toward him. The word “vessel” could be understood as a kitchen utensil, or gear from a ship. Also the word “sheet” could also be translated as a sail. Both of these together are interesting as Peter saw something that could be part of a ship that appeared to be a sail descending upon him. How appropriate for this fisherman who had made his living on ships.
“It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds.13 Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.” 14 “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.” To a Jew this would have been reprehensible to eat these things as Hebrew scripture would have advised him not too (Leviticus 11). To Peter he had been taught and had obeyed not to eat unclean things and this thought was not only repulsive, but to him seemed unholy.
Peter said “Surely not, Lord!” Those sent by the centurion would not have considered disobeying him. They had immediately obeyed and pressed on until the arrival of their destination. They would not have dreamed of saying no to their lord. Yet Peter said no to whom he acknowledged as Lord. Peter said no to the Creator of mankind. He said no the one that he called Savior and Lord. In those days, saying no to ones lord was not an option. If one truly acknowledges one as lord, especially Lord, then speaking the word “no” to him (Him) should never happen. How is it that we think that saying no to Jesus is ever the right thing to do? It is ironic that these three men who were instantly and absolutely obedient to their lord were coming to find out truth about God from a man who was not always instantly and absolutely obedient to His Lord. This is not to disparage Peter, who was a blessed Apostle of Jesus. Ah but the grace of God, we too often abuse it, we definitely depend on it, and God is always faithful to give it to us. Wherever sin can be found in a saint, greater, more powerful, and overcoming is the grace of God! Like a toddler who was just told not to do something and then does it, the child has not lost the love, mercy and grace of its parents. No, when the child is disobedient, the love of the parent is greater than the disobedience of the child. The child will learn, change and grow through the patient diligence and correction of the parent, but the child will not become unloved. The servants of a centurion could lose their life by disobeying their master. They were under the law. Family, we are not under the law, but are covered by the grace that God gives to us. We are covered by His love and that love never fails. Even though the love of some parents fail, God’s love and grace never, not ever, will. Praise God! Oh the depth and mysteries of God’s love for us! Praise God!
Psalm 150:6 – Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!
Micah 7:7 – But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.
Micah 6:8 – He has shown You, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of You but to do justly, to love mercy, And to walk humbly with Your God.This entry was posted in Devotion and tagged Acts, Leviticus, Micah, Psalm by Bob with