Mar 6, 2018
Nobody likes it when their plans fail or their preconceived ideas of how things should turn out, turn out for the worse. But when living in the will of God, it’s not always possible to know when that turn for the worse is exactly what God had in mind. In studying the life of the apostle Paul, we are provided with a vicarious look into the up and down nature of his calling. Paul was living in obedience to the commission given to him by Christ, and yet he regularly suffered everything from rejection and ridicule to both verbal and physical abuse. If you measure his success based on the external circumstances surrounding his life, it would be easy to conclude that, at times, he was out of God’s will. Why else would God allow him to be beaten, flogged, arrested, and even stoned and left for dead? But one of the things we learn from Luke’s chronology of those early decades of the church, is that God’s ways are not our ways. His methodology doesn’t always make sense to us, but it gives us no right to question His means or His motives. In Acts 23:1-11, Luke continues his description of Paul’s less-than-friendly encounter with the Jewish religious leaders. He has been placed before them by the Roman tribune in hopes that some kind of resolution might be arrived at, pertaining to Paul’s guilt or innocence. But things didn’t go well. Along with a slap in the face, Paul found himself in the midst of another no-holds-barred blow-up, this time between the members of the Jewish religious council. And every single bit of it was according to the sovereign will of God. The members of the Sanhedrin were at each other’s throats. The Roman tribune was at a loss as to what to do. And Paul was at peace, knowing that God was in control.