“And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.”
Saul, trembling and astonished as He beholds the glory of Christ, under the conviction of His sins against Christ, responds appropriately. Saul asks, “what wilt thou have me to do?”
When Christ brings conviction from His Word, that is to be our response. We are to take His rebukes without argument, and we look to Him alone for the solution to the problem.
This is evidence of God’s Grace at work in Saul. He no longer wants to fulfill the mission he set out for but asks what Christ would have him to do.
This was one of the things that brought Paul encouragement regarding the Thessalonian church in 1 Thessalonians:
“For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.”
1 Thessalonians 2:13 KJV
We must hear the words of the Bible as the word of Christ unto us.
Saul, with what appears to be a willingness now to heed the command of Christ, hears again from the Lord. Jesus tells Saul to stand up and continue to Damascus, where he will receive further instruction.
“And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.”
Saul beheld Christ while the men with him only heard a voice, and even that was not intelligible to them. We know this from Paul’s testimony in Acts 22 about this same event.
“And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.”
Acts 22:9 KJV
Those with Saul were not given eyes to behold Christ, nor ears to hear the shepherd’s voice. Such gifts are given by the sovereign decree of God. God chose to bestow grace upon Saul, and so he is the one who sees and hears. Although these men beheld outward signs, there was no inward work by the Spirit.
Only Saul had the light of Christ shed abroad in his heart.
“And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.”
Saul obediently stands, and quickly realizes he can no longer see. He needs to be guided by those with him for three days to Damascus, during which he does not eat or drink.
Jesus did not command Saul to fast, so this information gives us a view into Saul’s disposition during this time. Remember how vague Jesus’ response was to Saul in regards to what he was to do. Saul was told to get up from the ground and go into the city.
At this point, little comfort was given to Saul. He was left to think about the reality that He had been doing all he could to persecute the Lord of heaven. He was blinded, unable to be distracted by any earthly thing from the reality of his wicked works. The reality of Saul’s sin was so heavy upon him he neither ate nor drank.
This is what we ought to seek to do in our gospel presentations. We need to see and address the sins of our day and more specifically of our hearers. The goal is not strictly to condemn, but to show people the reality of their current situation. In their sin, whatever sin it may be, they stand opposed to the living God and in need of redemption. They must see their need for a Savior, and it shouldn’t be vague. We need to do our best to prick the hearts and consciences of unbelievers.