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Acts 23:12-35

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Acts 23:12–15 ESV
12 When it was day, the Jews made a plot and bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. 13 There were more than forty who made this conspiracy. 14 They went to the chief priests and elders and said, “We have strictly bound ourselves by an oath to taste no food till we have killed Paul. 15 Now therefore you, along with the council, give notice to the tribune to bring him down to you, as though you were going to determine his case more exactly. And we are ready to kill him before he comes near.”
The Night before this the Lord came to Paul and stood beside him. Jesus told Paul to “Take Courage, for as you testified in Jerusalem, you would in Rome.

God is in Control of our trials

Last week we looked at Paul in the middle of a trail. We saw Paul not handle the trial well at times and then we ended last week with God coming to Paul and letting him know that He was standing beside him in the trail.
This week we are going to see that God is in control of our trials.
Acts 23:12–15 ESV
12 When it was day, the Jews made a plot and bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. 13 There were more than forty who made this conspiracy. 14 They went to the chief priests and elders and said, “We have strictly bound ourselves by an oath to taste no food till we have killed Paul. 15 Now therefore you, along with the council, give notice to the tribune to bring him down to you, as though you were going to determine his case more exactly. And we are ready to kill him before he comes near.”
We come to our passage the next morning the Jews made a plot and bound themselves by oath to not eat or drink until they had killed Paul
How much hate do you have for someone to take a vow to not eat or drink until they die.
They believed if they didn’t complete this divine oath then they would be divinely punished.
40 people took this oath.
I make my plans, I bind myself to my plans. I vow not to stop until I see my plan succeed.
Have you ever been in a trial and it felt like everyone was out to get you.
We also see that 40 people made this vow. Which tells me just because a group agrees on something does not mean it is Gods plan.
Have you ever felt like things just kept getting worse and worse.
I also see here that God had promised Paul something and man can plan all they want to. But Gods plan will succeed.
I am sure this is where Paul is at in this moment.
We can plan all we want to, but what God has promised will succeed.
The Jews from Asia beat him.
The Jews in the temple that day wanted to do away with him.
The Commandar of the guard wanted to flog him.
The High Priest ordered he be punched in the face.
Now some more Jews are planning to kill Him.
They went to the cheif priest and council and told them of their plan.
The question is not if it will happen. The question is will we join in with him in His plan, or follow our own.
They went to the cheif priest and council and told them of their plan.
Then in verse 15 they say in light of our plan, you join us and do your part by giving notice to the commander that we want to meet with Paul again as though we are going to examine his case carefully, and we will kill him when he come near.
Acts 23:16–22 ESV
16 Now the son of Paul’s sister heard of their ambush, so he went and entered the barracks and told Paul. 17 Paul called one of the centurions and said, “Take this young man to the tribune, for he has something to tell him.” 18 So he took him and brought him to the tribune and said, “Paul the prisoner called me and asked me to bring this young man to you, as he has something to say to you.” 19 The tribune took him by the hand, and going aside asked him privately, “What is it that you have to tell me?” 20 And he said, “The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down to the council tomorrow, as though they were going to inquire somewhat more closely about him. 21 But do not be persuaded by them, for more than forty of their men are lying in ambush for him, who have bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink till they have killed him. And now they are ready, waiting for your consent.” 22 So the tribune dismissed the young man, charging him, “Tell no one that you have informed me of these things.”
But you can be sure that anything something is done in darkness it will be brought to light.
Acts 23:16–22 ESV
16 Now the son of Paul’s sister heard of their ambush, so he went and entered the barracks and told Paul. 17 Paul called one of the centurions and said, “Take this young man to the tribune, for he has something to tell him.” 18 So he took him and brought him to the tribune and said, “Paul the prisoner called me and asked me to bring this young man to you, as he has something to say to you.” 19 The tribune took him by the hand, and going aside asked him privately, “What is it that you have to tell me?” 20 And he said, “The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down to the council tomorrow, as though they were going to inquire somewhat more closely about him. 21 But do not be persuaded by them, for more than forty of their men are lying in ambush for him, who have bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink till they have killed him. And now they are ready, waiting for your consent.” 22 So the tribune dismissed the young man, charging him, “Tell no one that you have informed me of these things.”
We must remember even if it feels like the world is against us.
We must remember even if it feels like people are plotting against you
If you are a Christ follower you have one who is standing beside you.
You have someone who sticks to you closer than a brother.
You have someone who understands what it is like to be betrayed.
He understands what it is like when they plot against you.
He understands what it is like to go through the depths of a trial and his name is Jesus.
We also must remember that in the midst of your trial not only do you have someone who is standing beside you. God is in control of your storm.
What are the odds that Paul’s nephew whom we have never heard of until this point. We didn’t even know he had a sister be in the exact location where they where plotting to kill Paul.
Then this young man was allowed to tell Paul and then the centurion carried him to the Tribune, where he got to talk with him in private.
Don’t tell me God is not in complete control of this situation. Don’t tell me God is not completely Soverign in all things.
This reminds me of when I was in the hospital 3 years ago and it was a Sunday and I was worried my personal doctor could not come treat me while there. And in walked Dr. Short who was a Former IMB missionary, had attended a church where Ginnie once worked and we knew some of the same people.
Paul’s nephew heard of this plot. He took it to Paul. Paul told His nephew to take it to the Commander
Paul’s nephew told the commander and begged him not to send him.
Now you know this is God working. Because I believe had his nephew not heard and come and told then the commander would have sent him. Because the commander is trying to figure out who this man named Paul is.
God took this person we have never heard of put him in the right location at the right time to relay the message to Paul and then to the commander.
This is not luck. For as Christ followers we don’t believe in luck.
We don’t believe in happen stance.
This is God in control putting this young man right where he needed to be. And opening the doors so that he could accomplish Gods purpose and that was Paul getting the gospel to Rome.
Is this not was we see in the book of Esther? God raised Esther for such a time as this.
Is this not what we see through out the whole in entire Bible.
Some of you are going through storms, Some may be going through valley’s. Some are facing trails. I want to give you some encouragement. God is in control of the storm. He is in control of the trail.
We don’t even know this young man’s name and yet. He is recorded in the Bible and God used Him in a mighty way
Think of all the gospel Hero’s that we may know their name but, know very little about them and yet God used them in a mighty way to cary out his plan.
God delights in using the no names, so that he will get all the glory.
God delights in using the no names, so that he will get all the glory.
So today I encourage you don’t aspire to be a somebody in God kingdom. Aspire to be a nobody that is fully devoted to God, where he will receive all the glory.
Acts 23:23
Acts 23:23–25 ESV
23 Then he called two of the centurions and said, “Get ready two hundred soldiers, with seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen to go as far as Caesarea at the third hour of the night. 24 Also provide mounts for Paul to ride and bring him safely to Felix the governor.” 25 And he wrote a letter to this effect:
we see next that God uses the Commander to accomplish his plan and to help Paul through his trial.
Even though the text does not tell us this God guided this commander to have the conversation with the young boy. God is going to guide the commander to send Paul off.
God sometimes uses secular governments, kings and kingdoms to accomplish his purpose.
We sometimes may question why is this person in control. Why did this person win an election. I can assure you today. That God has established them in leadership. And though it may not make since. He is Soverign.
If Go
Proverbs 21:1 ESV
1 The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will.
We can also see here that God sometimes uses secular governments to accomplish his purpose.
God can take the most cruel and grumsome regiemns. He take take the most croked goverment officals and use them to accomplish His plan.
Did he not do this with Heord when He called a census and it caused Joesph to take Mary to Bethleham for the Census.
The Commander orders the centurions to call 200 soldiers and seventy horsemen, and two hundred spearmen.
The Commander orders the centurions to call 200 soldiers and seventy horsemen, and two hundred spearmen.
That is 470 men
He also approved Paul to ride a horse.
Paul will also leave in the cover of darkness around 9pm.
This is the third time Paul has left a city at night in the cover of darkness.
Get this what the Jews meant for harm against Paul. God has taken to use to accomplish his plan.
Paul now not only is heading toward Rome. He has Roman protection to get him their.
Sometimes God takes the things people mean for harm and there own plans and uses those plans in our lives to get us where he wants us.
How many times do we see this very thing in scripture
What about King David. How many times did Saul plan to kill David and yet God plan won out and David was king.
The Jews started to persecute the church so the church scatters and because they scatter the gospel is spread.
What about the jews who turned on Jesus the very son of God and choose for him to be crucified, because of that salvation came to mankind.
Many times man has plans of bondage, where God has plans for the gospel spreading out of that bodnage where people will find true freedom.
The trial that you are in that you think is for your harm, may actually be for your good and to futher Gods plan.
Many times man has plans of bondage, where God has plans for the gospel spreading out of that bodnage where people will find true freedom.
Felix
was a freed slave who was corrupt
His third wife was daughter of Herod Agrippa I who left her husband to become Felix’s wife
Felix nickname was: vulgar ruffman.
They would say of him that he ruled like a slave or something to that affect
Acts 23:26–34 ESV
26 “Claudius Lysias, to his Excellency the governor Felix, greetings. 27 This man was seized by the Jews and was about to be killed by them when I came upon them with the soldiers and rescued him, having learned that he was a Roman citizen. 28 And desiring to know the charge for which they were accusing him, I brought him down to their council. 29 I found that he was being accused about questions of their law, but charged with nothing deserving death or imprisonment. 30 And when it was disclosed to me that there would be a plot against the man, I sent him to you at once, ordering his accusers also to state before you what they have against him.” 31 So the soldiers, according to their instructions, took Paul and brought him by night to Antipatris. 32 And on the next day they returned to the barracks, letting the horsemen go on with him. 33 When they had come to Caesarea and delivered the letter to the governor, they presented Paul also before him. 34 On reading the letter, he asked what province he was from. And when he learned that he was from Cilicia,
So the commander writes Felix this letter giving him a recap of everything that has happened.
The commander bends the truth just a little. He left out the part of almost flogging Paul. He also makes it sound that he rescued Paul once he found out he was a Roman citizen.
But, I can’t faught him because many times we do the same thing. We will leave out a pieace of information and we make ourselves sound more important to the story than we really are.
The Commander in verse 29 says that he sees Paul as innocent.
I don’t know what you are going through this morning. I don’t know the trail. I don’t know the storm. i don’t know the hardship. But what I do know is this. The God that calmed the seas by speaking. The God that healed the lame and caused the blind to see. The God that died on the cross for your sins is not only standing beside you in the storm. But is in control of your storm. He is Soverign over your storm.
You are not going through this storm for nothing.
Kenneth Gangel “Sometimes God delivers his children by the simple word of a young relative. Sometimes he has to call in the cavalry. At all times, he is ultimately in charge.” (Christ Commentary pg. 366)
As some of you are battered and bruised, wore out, tired, frustrated. you have wondered what can go wrong next. Others of you have nothing left to give and you have wondered where God is at in the middle of this storm.
So take peace
I want to remind you. He is standing beside you so take courage. Take courage because he is in control. Take courage for it will futher his plan and it is for your good.
Every head bowed.
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