Strike While the Iron is Hot
Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him, ~Acts 13:9
"Strike while the iron is hot" is a phrase that means take advantage of an opportunity now while it is in front of you. It comes from the idea of a blacksmith who is shaping a piece of metal that has been heated until it is burning red. It is critical that the blacksmith strike, or pound, the metal into the desired shape while it is softened and pliable, or his opportunity will be lost.
We see the priority.
“And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Barjesus.” Saul and Barnabas were sent by the church at Antioch as missionaries to start churches and win souls. With the blessing of the church, they went to the island of Cyprus to survey and by the Lord’s leading, they arrived at a city named Paphos. This city was where the proconsul of Rome lived. It was a government city. It was a populated city. It was a business and commercial city. It was a city that needed Jesus. Paphos means “hot” or “boiling.”
We see the prospect.
“Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God.” At Paphos, they met Sergius Paulus, the proconsul and deputy of the country. He was an intelligent and prudent man who came under the influence of Saul and Barnabas' preaching. He “desired to hear the word of God.” He was a man who wanted to know what the gospel was about and what it could dofor his life. He was a “hot” prospect that they focused their attention on winning to Christ.
We see the predator.
“But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith.” This man, Elymas, was a false prophet, a worker of black magic, a conjurer of demons, and an agent of Satan. He withstood, or resisted, Saul and Barnabas and intensified his efforts to try to dissuade Sergius Paulus from getting saved. He was a spiritual predator who sought to keep this man from getting saved.
We see the proactive.
“Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him.” Saul struck while the iron was hot! He saw that they were in a life-and-death struggle with Elymas for the soul of Sergius Paulus. Saul did not back off. Saul was not intimidated by the challenge. Saul did not procrastinate. Because he was filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, he moved with boldness, swiftness, and fervency to win the battle for Serguis Paulus' soul. Saul exposed Elymas as a child of the devil. Saul rebuked him as an enemy of all righteousness. Saul called on the hand of the Lord to blind this man and stop him right then and there. Immediately, Elymas could not see and required someone to lead him by the hand. God’s power was mightily at work through Saul.
We see the prize.
Sergius Paulus saw what happened and believed. He saw God’s power defeat Elymas. He saw the power of the Word of God and was convicted that he needed to place his faith in Christ to be saved. He was saved from being the devil’s captive and spending eternity in Hell. Saul struck while the iron was hot. Don’t let opportunities slip by you! Strike when God gives you the opportunity.
Have a fervent God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Matthew 24-25