Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Acts 23:12-22. The plot to kill Paul.

12 The next morning some Jews formed a conspiracy and bound themselves with an oath not to eat or drink until they had killed Paul. 13 More than forty men were involved in this plot. 14 They went to the chief priests and the elders and said, “We have taken a solemn oath not to eat anything until we have killed Paul. 15 Now then, you and the Sanhedrin petition the commander to bring him before you on the pretext of wanting more accurate information about his case. We are ready to kill him before he gets here.”

16 But when the son of Paul’s sister heard of this plot, he went into the barracks and told Paul.

17 Then Paul called one of the centurions and said, “Take this young man to the commander; he has something to tell him.” 18 So he took him to the commander.

The centurion said, “Paul, the prisoner, sent for me and asked me to bring this young man to you because he has something to tell you.”

19 The commander took the young man by the hand, drew him aside and asked, “What is it you want to tell me?”

20 He said: “Some Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul before the Sanhedrin tomorrow on the pretext of wanting more accurate information about him. 21 Don’t give in to them, because more than forty of them are waiting in ambush for him. They have taken an oath not to eat or drink until they have killed him. They are ready now, waiting for your consent to their request.”

22 The commander dismissed the young man with this warning: “Don’t tell anyone that you have reported this to me.”

So there's obviously a few thing which can be drawn from this passage, many of them have been mentioned before, but it's never a bad thing to be reminded of biblical truths - no matter how often it is!

First up, we see the complete hypocrisy of the Jews and deceitfulness of sin. The jews are planning to murder Paul, yet they try to cover up their consciences by making an oath to God about it! Satan is extremely crafty and decietful, and without knowledge of the bible, it is easy to fall into his traps and into sin without even realizing it. Make sure you know and read the bible!! It is our only weapon against Satan, and one of our best defenses - even Jesus uses it! There's no better example to follow! We have these men going to the spiritual authorities with their plan and developing it further with them. While it is good to approach leaders with issues, we need to approach godly leaders and seek godly advice, and ultimately our choices need to come directly from Gods word, because een the 'best' people get it wrong: all have sinned and fall Short of the glory of God.

Secondly we clearly see God working in this. In verse 11 God tells Paul that he will also share the gospel in Rome, and here God brings that about. He provides a boy to overhear the plot and tell Paul, so he gets transferred away, and eventually reaches Rome. God not only works his will, but he protects and provides for his people. We are his slaves and his children. We need to submit to him totally in all things, but we can trust him that he Loves us and that his will is for our good as well as his glory. That doesn't mean life will be great, but it means that we have full assurance of forgiveness and eternal salvation, so no matter how bad life gets, there are better things to look forward to, and God is trustworthy.

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