Friday 26 August, 2016

Acts 23:12-22

12 The next morning some Jews gathered secretly to make plans against Paul. They made a promise to themselves. They promised that they would not eat or drink anything until they killed him. 13 More than 40 men took part in this plan. 14 They went to the chief priests and the elders. They said, “We have made a special promise to God. We will not eat anything until we have killed Paul. 15 Now then, you and the Sanhedrin must make an appeal to the commanding officer. Ask him to bring Paul to you. Pretend you want more facts about his case. We are ready to kill him before he gets here.” 16 But Paul’s nephew heard about this plan. So he went into the fort and told Paul. 17 Then Paul called one of the commanders. He said to him, “Take this young man to the commanding officer. He has something to tell him.” 18 So the commander took Paul’s nephew to the officer. The commander said, “Paul, the prisoner, sent for me. He asked me to bring this young man to you. The young man has something to tell you.” 19 The commanding officer took the young man by the hand. He spoke to him in private. “What do you want to tell me?” the officer asked. 20 He said, “Some Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul to the Sanhedrin tomorrow. They will pretend they want more facts about him. 21 Don’t give in to them. More than 40 of them are waiting in hiding to attack him. They have promised that they will not eat or drink anything until they have killed him. They are ready now. All they need is for you to bring Paul to the Sanhedrin.” 22 The commanding officer let the young man go. But he gave him a warning. “Don’t tell anyone you have reported this to me,” he said.

In this passage we see God’s sovereignty at work. In verse 11 of the previous passage God encourages Paul and tells him that he will testify about God in Rome. God uses the attack on Paul, and the Roman intervention to safely transport Paul from Jerusalem to Rome. Historically, Rome was the brutal enemy oppressing the Jewish people, and yet, in this twist, it is a Roman officer that saves Paul. Roman soldiers crucified Jesus, and now Roman soldiers defend Paul on his way to Rome to preach about Jesus. How amazing that Paul’s nephew should be in the right place at the right time to hear of this conspiracy against Paul: in this we see God using a nephew as part of His plan to protect Paul. As Paul prioritised God’s kingdom and His righteousness God took care of Paul. I am encouraged that God is sovereign, He is in complete control, and He uses whatever means He chooses to bring about His will. God is unpredictable, I don’t know how He is going to work all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose, but I know that He will do it. Lord, please help me to trust you and to rest in your sovereignty. Help me to seek first your kingdom and your righteousness today. Thank you for working all things together for my good. Amen.

Written by Beth Waugh

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