The Capture of a Rebel
Romans 10:20 – “But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.”
Saul of Tarsus, the persecutor of Christians, was stopped by the risen Lord and converted on the road to Damascus. This is a shining, Scriptural example of the truth that a man who bitterly resisted God can still be saved, transformed and used in a mighty way.
During the so-called “killing times” in Scotland, a man named John Welsh was being chased relentlessly. He hardly knew where to flee, but relying on Scottish hospitality, he knocked one night at the door of a landlord bitterly opposed to “the field preachers” and to John Welsh in particular. Being unrecognized, John Welsh, was received with kindness. In the course of the evening’s conversation the host complained of the difficulty of capturing the fugitive – John Welsh.
“I am also sent to apprehend rebels,” said Welsh. “I know where that man is to preach tomorrow; so if you will come with me, I will put his hand into yours.” Overjoyed, the gentleman agreed to accompany his informant the next morning. When they arrived at the appointed spot, the congregation had already assembled. Then, to his host’s utter bewilderment, he lifted up his voice and fearlessly rang out the story of sin and salvation.
The Spirit of God was there, and the landlord was deeply convicted. At the close when Welsh fulfilled his promise by giving him his hand that he might arrest him, the new convert said, “You spoke truly when you said that you were also sent to capture rebels, for it is I, a rebellious sinner, who has truly found Christ today.”
Of this one too, the Lord could say, “I was found by them that sought me not”!