Richard Connell, in his famous story The Most Dangerous Game, describes the adventure of his hero, Sanger Rainsford, one of the world’s most celebrated big-game hunters. En route to a hunting expedition along the coast of South America, Rainsford accidentally falls from his speeding yacht at night. He is a strong swimmer so he manages to swim to a nearby island. Rainsford knows the island is inhabited because he has heard shots during the night. Surprisingly, he finds a house inhabited by a Russian nobleman, General Zaroff, and his servant. The general recognizes Rainsfords name and welcomes him, because he too is a big-game hunter. Rainsford is pleased with his good fortune—until the formal dinner that evening when during the conversation the general announces that he is hunting a “new animal” on the island. Rainsford inquired about to the identity of this “new animal.” The general answered, “It supplies me with the most exciting hunting in the world. No other hunting compares with it for an instant. Every day I hunt, and I never grow bored now, for I have someone with which I can match my wits.” Rainsford is confused about the species. The general explains, “I wanted the ideal animal to hunt. So I asked myself: ‘What are the attributes of an ideal animal to hunt?’ And the answer was, of course, ‘It must have courage, cunning, and, above all, it must be able to reason.’ ” “But no animal can reason,” Rainsford protested. “My dear fellow,” the general responds, “there is one that can.” “But you cannot mean—” Rainsford exclaims. “And why not?” “I cannot believe you are serious, General Zaroff. This is a joke.” “Why should I not be serious? I am speaking of hunting.” To his growing horror, Sanger Rainsford, the great hunter, learns that he is Zaroff’s intended game. The hunter has become the hunted. In Acts 9, the apostle Paul goes from the hunter to the hunted. The pursuer became the prey. Although the chapter is about the salvation of Paul, we could insert our names here. I want to give you a front row seat to explain how God works in salvation. Acts 9:1, “Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord. He went to the high priest 2 and requested letters from him to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any men or women who belonged to the Way, he might bring them as prisoners to Jerusalem.” Paul’s Life before Christ Saul was his name before he converted to Christianity. Paul is how he is referred to throughout the New Testament. He was so opposed to this new movement that he threatened to murder the Christians and in some cases actually carried out his threats. Let’s take an look at Paul’s life through Acts: • Acts 7:58 – He participated in the stoning of Stephen. • Acts 8:1 – Saul “agreed with putting him to death.” Stephen’s death pleased Saul and made him happy. • Acts 8:3 – Saul, however, was ravaging the church. He would enter house after house, drag off men and women, and put them in prison. • Acts 9:1 – Saul murdered believers. • Acts 9:1–2 – Saul obtained warrants from the Jewish authorities authorizing him to harass and arrest Christians. • Acts 26:9 – Saul did everything in his power to Oppose the name of Christ. • Acts 26:10 – Saul testified against believers and facilitated their murders. • Acts 26:11 – Saul forced believers to “blaspheme” the Lors Who saved them. We have the privilege of reading Paul’s spiritual resume written by him in Phil. 3:4, “If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. Ancestry
- “Circumcised on the 8th Day.” He places circumcision first to show that He, Like the Judaizers, fulfilled the requirement of the law.
- Why on the 8th day? His was superior to a gentile convert who was circumcised later in Life.
- “Of the People of Israel.” He was of the RACE of Israel. He is a Pure Blooded JEWISH MAN.
- “Of the Tribe of Benjamin.” He was Proud of his lineage. Benjamin was the favored son of Rachel and Jacob. He had a special place in the History of Israel.
- “Hebrew of Hebrews.” He spoke not only Greek, but the Native tongue of Aramaic and Hebrew. This can also mean that he avoided the gentile customs and the culture of Hellenism.