Year 2 Day 94
Read - Acts 23v23-35
Message - Scott Woodburn
On Tuesday we chatted briefly about the sovereignty of God. The Lord is King and our times are in His hand. Whatever befalls us, we can take comfort in the fact that the Lord knows our path and even if death comes, we will never slip through His mighty fingers. But how does God exercise His sovereignty?
Perhaps when we consider such a question we immediately imagine the dramatic. A Christian is facing thousands of enemies and the Lord strikes them down with a lightning bolt. Or perhaps a Christian is falling from a cliff and the Lord sends a legion of angels to carry him. While neither scenario is impossible for the Lord we must realise that ordinarily, the Lord uses the ordinary.
Paul is in great danger and the Lord in His sovereignty will care for him. How? In ordinary ways. Paul will be sent to the Roman governor Felix and will be accompanied by 200 soldiers, 70 horsemen and 200 spearmen. Can you imagine? Paul’s enemies number at least 40 but Paul’s guard make them look like nothing.
Not only that, Paul was sent to Felix with an official letter of explanation and introduction. The letter was clear that Paul was a Roman citizen (v27) and hadn’t been charged with anything deserving death or imprisonment (v28) but he was now in danger from his accusers (v30). Finally when Paul arrived in Caesarea he was placed under guard in Herod’s praetorium (v35). It would be near impossible for the angry Jews to assassinate him in such a place.
Now admittedly, if given a choice, none of us would want our liberty to be curtailed in such a way. We’d prefer to travel without the need of a guard. Ideally we wouldn’t need a letter explaining our circumstances and if possible we’d rather spend the night in our own bed rather than a military encampment. Yet here we see that the Lord can even use the might of pagans to protect His people.
So how does God exercise His sovereignty today? In exactly the same way. He can send His angels in defence of the church and the Lord is able to cast thunderbolts upon the earth. But ordinarily, He uses the ordinary. Do not be surprised when the Lord straightens your path in simple ways. Do not be amazed when even the decisions of pagans seem to help the church. The Lord is sovereign over the whole universe and even the raindrops do what He commands. Once again…if God is for us…who can be against us?
Q97 What is required to the worthy receiving of the Lord’s Supper? It is required of them that would worthily partake of the Lord’s Supper, that they examine themselves, of their knowledge to discern the Lord’s body, of their faith to feed upon him, of their repentance, love, and new obedience; lest, coming unworthily, they eat and drink judgment to themselves.