Corinth was a bustling port city, the capital of Achaia. It was very prosperous and a center for worshipping the love goddess, Aphrodite. Corinth is well known for its easy immorality and extravagances, a Sin City. When Paul went there, he was opposed by the Jews there.
6 But when they opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent of it. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.”
He was about to leave. But…
9 One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision:”Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. 10 For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.” Acts 18:9, 10
So Paul stayed in Corinth for about 18 months and wrote letters of instruction to the church here (Corinthians).
It’s much easier and safer to stay in the crowd than to be the one who speaks up about uncomfortable truth facing the crowd. It seems such a lonely and futile effort. I think of Jesus, coming out to the crowd wearing a crown of thorns and a purple robe looking ridiculous.
Following him can be as embarrassing as that. Standing alone, speaking about things that make people feel uncomfortable and cause them to reject you. But, in this chapter, the Lord is telling Paul in a vision not to be afraid and keep on speaking. “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent.” For the Lord is with Paul and he has many people in this city, Corinth, a Sin City.
“I have many people in the city.” I like this part. I am not a lone speaker, after all. I am in the crowd, the Lord’s gang. I like it when he says “I have,” I like to be had by the Lord. He is the one who was the lone speaker. I am part of his crowd who listened and believed.