In our devotions this week everything that Paul has tried to do since he came to Jerusalem has ended in a riot. From purifying himself, to giving testimony to sharing with the Sanhedrin…everything has ended in a riot and now he's a prisoner. Plus! There are a bunch of Jews plotting to assassinate him. So things haven’t been the greatest for him.
Our passage today however, shows God’s protection over Paul’s life and that ultimately God is in control. As a group of Jews vow to kill Paul SOMEHOW Paul’s nephew happens to overhear their conversation (v.12-16). Now I don’t know about you but I don’t believe in coincidences. This isn’t a small town nor is it a time of day that many people would be out and about. I believe that God has the ultimate control and will put people in the right place at the right time to see His mission through. God placed Paul’s nephew there at that very time for an important purpose.
We don’t know how old Paul’s nephew is or what his name is. But what we do see is that he must have loved his uncle Paul very much and did not allow fear of the unbelieving Jews keep him from doing what was right. God used Paul’s nephew to protect Paul from being killed. The commander listened to Paul’s nephew and prepared 470 soldiers to take Paul safely to Caesarea.
As I read through the passage today there were two things that stood out for me. First was the importance of being obedient to what puts on your heart, to show obedience as we seek to live as disciples just as Paul and his nephew did. The second was a real sense of thankfulness. Thankfulness to those who were obedient in challenging me in my walk with God, thankfulness to those who listen to what is going on in the world around them and respond with a voice of justice. Thankfulness that God is in control and though there may be times of struggle and difficulty…I know that ultimately, He’s got this!
So friends, as we thinking about our day and all the ways God has provided for and protects us, what are you thankful for? And if this passage is true and we wholeheartedly believe that God is in control, how does it change your view of Him?