Daily Devotional: Monday 8th June

by William Moody

Acts 23:23–35

Paul Sent to Felix the Governor

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.1 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.

Footnotes

[1] 23:23 That is, 9 p.m.

(ESV)

Paul, from outward appearances was quite a small and unimpressive man with a hooked nose. In the eyes of the world he was not of much value. But God moves this pagan Roman commander to have in total 470 armed men to protect Paul (v23-24). How great is our God! How great is His love and power!

Paul is being sent to the Governor Felix at Caesarea on the coast and the commander sends a letter explaining the situation (v27-30).

It is clear from this letter, that an unbiased man could see Paul’s innocence. But like Pilate before, he is unwilling to release the innocent.

Practicality takes precedent over principle. God’s people should not be like that. We should be willing to do the right thing no matter what the consequences might be.  In a world of less and less honourable principles, pray for courage and grace to live by Biblical principles.

As Paul waits for a hearing (v34-35), he must have been holding on to the promise that he would testify for Christ in Rome (v11). But in seeing God’s will accomplished there can be long days of waiting. In difficult days of waiting we need to hold firmly to the promises of God. Being immersed in the truth of God’s word is a precious help in days of challenge.

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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