This post is Day 16 in a series of studies about “Separation”. I strongly suggest you begin with the introduction to this study, please click here to read it.
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Separation – Day 16
Onesimus was a runaway slave, and could have been punished by death in Rome at that time. But he became a Christian under Paul. As Paul had already met him at the home of his master, Philemon, Paul took it on himself to try to reunite the master and servant.
Perhaps the reason he (Onesimus) was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back for good.
The very short letter of Philemon is not often read or referred to in our churches. But it has a few things to teach us, and in it we see a softer side of Paul who often comes across as hard and authoritative.
Onesimus was a runaway slave, and could have been punished by death in Rome at that time. But he became a Christian under Paul’s ministry. As Paul had already met him at the home of his master, Philemon, Paul took it on himself to try to reunite the master and servant.
Paul could see the hand of the Lord in the whole episode, and was writing to Philemon to ask him to accept his former slave back as a brother in the Lord.
Often the Lord allows bad situations to develop in order to bring good out of them. A similar thing happened to Joseph who was sold as a slave by his brothers, but all ended well after a very long separation.
In the long story of Joseph, (Genesis 37 through to Genesis 50) we read of Joseph’s rejection by and eventual forgiveness of his brothers. His last words to them speak of many situations today. You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives (Genesis 50:20).
Praise God that He knows “the end of the story”. Praise Him that He works all things together for good to those who love Him (Romans 8:28).
Pray for those you know who are separated from loved ones either spiritually or physically or both.
Read the short letter from Paul to Philemon and hear Paul’s plea from his heart for servant and master to be re-united.
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