Daily Devotional: Sunday 7th June

by William Moody

Acts 23:12–22

A Plot to Kill Paul

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.”

(ESV)

The determination of evil is frightening (v12-13). Killing Paul was more important to these men than anything else. Sin has blinded their thinking.

Evil has not changed today in its determination to oppose the Gospel and Gospel ministry. We must have open eyes to see the spiritual war that is going on. We must not be ignorant to the ferocity of evil men.

Evil is also very clever (v14-15). A wicked plan to destroy God’s servant is hatched. God’s people need to be always very watchful and seek God’s wisdom, because the devil is smarter than us.

But God’s people should be confident, knowing that the God who rules over everything is watching over them. God is certainly more than one step ahead of evil. Paul saw God’s controlling hand overrule the schemes of evil (v16-22).

We need to be praying that the schemes of the devil within our own lives, families, church, community, country and in our world will be thwarted. Pray for God’s people to be discerning about the schemes of the devil. Pray for God’s people to be protected so that our witness for Christ will be protected. Praise God for his providential care.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®),
copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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