February 9, 2020
Pastor Ricky Smith
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.” 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.” 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: 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, 35 he said, “I will give you a hearing when your accusers arrive.” And he commanded him to be guarded in Herod’s praetorium.
I. God is at work, even when we cannot see
God is at work and is always on time
II. God has provided a pattern for us to trust
III. God invites us to trust His providence
- I choose to see that God is inviting me into a relationship and choose to put my trust in Him.
- I commit to open my eyes and worship Him for what He is doing around me.
- I confess I must open my ears to better listen to His guidance and how He may be using me.
- Read Philippians 4:19 and share examples of how God has provided what you need. Are their examples of how He has used people to meet a need and they were not aware they were part of God’s plan?
- Read Romans 8:28. If God cares about sparrows, why do we doubt that He will provide for us, even when He has proven Himself faithful in the past?
- Read 1 Corinthians 10:13. God promises to provide for our purity. How can we keep our eyes open to see the way of escape He has promised to provide?
Read James 1:19-21
- Is it harder to listen or to tell others what we think? Why is it important to listen to one another?
- Do you think we are less likely to get angry with each other if we listen more?
- Choosing to receive the Word with meekness, as in verse 21, points to the importance of Bible study, Scripture memorization, and spiritual discipline. How can we as a family hold each other accountable to put this in action?