Scripture Reading:  Acts 23:12-24

“Now the son of Paul’s sister heard of their ambush, so he went and entered the barracks and told Paul.  Paul called one of the centurions and said, ‘Take this young man to the tribune, for he has something to tell him.'” (Acts 23:16,17)

A group of Jews in Jerusalem plotted together to kill the Apostle Paul.  More than forty of them made an oath not to eat or drink until they had murdered him (vs. 12,13).  The plan was to get the Roman authorities to bring Paul again before the Sanhedrin at which time they would kill him (v. 15).  But the son of Paul’s sister overheard the men who were planning the plot (v. 16).  The young man immediately went to the barracks where Paul was being held and told him what he had heard.  Paul then asked one of the centurions to take his nephew to the tribune, which he did, and the tribune developed a plan to protect Paul (vs. 23,24).

For the most part, we know very little about the means God uses to protect us.  In Paul’s case, God used Paul’s nephew.  God placed the young man in a position to overhear this plot and He used him to prevent Paul from being murdered.  Some would attribute this to happen chance.  But we know better because we acknowledge the sovereignty of God over all things.

God is omnipresent and omniscient.  He sees and knows all things.  He is also omnipotent.  He rules and over-rules all circumstances.  He protects and defends His children.  He may choose to act directly or He may choose to use secondary means, as He did in Paul’s case.  God uses many means to provide providential protection for His children.  He sends angels to protect us sometimes:  “For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways” (Psalm 91:11).  God uses circumstances, other people, and various other means to protect His beloved children.

Whatever means He choses, we can be assured of His providential presence and protection over  us:  “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10)

Lord God, I acknowledge Your presence and Your providential protection over my life.  Seldom am I aware of the means You use to keep me from harm.  I am so thankful for Your sovereignty and for Your deep love for me.


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