17:10 Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. 12 Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men. 13 But when the Jews from Thessalonica learned that the word of God was preached by Paul at Berea, they came there also and stirred up the crowds. 14 Then immediately the brethren sent Paul away, to go to the sea; but both Silas and Timothy remained there.
Life is not a smooth steady journey. It's more like a roller coaster. In Thessalonica it was a battle that ended with a mob and arrests. Moving on to Berea things got better. It was like a calm after the storm. It wasn't to last though. It seems the mob in Thessalonica wasn't satisfied to run them out of their city so they tracked them to Berea.
Every literal story in the Bible is also telling a bigger story. These things were written down for us to take lessons from. None of us are Paul or Silas and we never will be. None of us will experience the exact same circumstances they did. None of us should attempt to literally apply what happened to them to our lives. However we should (and will if are wise) take from their experiences principles we can apply or learn from.
The mob in Thessalonica represents bad religion and the forces behind it. Religion is most always a tool of control used to gain power and influence over others. Like drug lords they control territory or turf and anyone who threatens that turf will pay a price.
Of course the puppet master behind all of this is Satan. He loves to have us buy into any system that ultimately heads nowhere and have us think it is of supreme importance. He was certainly having his way with the Jews. He had a created a self-obsessed warped view of the Messiah and they bought it so completely that when the real Messiah came they rejected Him and killed Him. However He rose again proving He was no ordinary man or prophet and the movement began to explode.
Well the only way for a movement to grow is by having more and more people believe and those people came from somewhere. As the Christian ranks increased and the whole religious world was being turned upside down, those fully invested in Judaism and Greco-Roman paganism began to feel the threat. The turf war was on.
Initially Saul (now Paul) was a leader in the war against Christianity. Now he has become a leader for Christianity which has made and is making him enemy number one.
When you and I decide to give our lives to Jesus we become a threat to Satan. Not only has he lost us which diminishes his ranks, but he risks losing more by our existence. He begins to incite others against us. Family and friends at first. The degree to which we are attacked depends directly on the level to which we become publicly a voice for Him. The more we threaten Satan's territory the more he invests in stopping us.
Satan had so much power and influence over the men in charge of the synagogue in Thessalonica that they bring their mob to Berea.
Let me assure you of this. Smooth water and peaceful pastures is not an indicator that you are doing God's will. Quite the opposite. This world is a place Satan thinks is his and anyone who leaves his man made religions and empty philosophies to pursue the God of heaven who sent His Son for our rescue becomes a target.
This is not cause for fear but it's important to understand where we live. Why should we not be afraid?
Because He who for us is greater than any who will come against us and all things will work together for our good and His glory because our good is to His glory. He loves us. We are His world and the apples of His eye.