Summary: No matter how hard our enemy fights against us, God will take care of us if we will trust in Him.

He’s Got You Covered

Acts 23:12-35

Intro: One of the things we start hearing a lot about around election time is health coverage. Some say that the government should guarantee health coverage for every citizen. Others say that every employer should be required to provide health coverage for all employees. There are several solutions offered as to how to come up with this money, none of which I care to go into today. If we were to take a poll today as to how well we are covered by health insurance, we’d probably get several different stories. There are many different kinds of coverage plans, and there are many different kinds of premiums to pay – most of them seem much higher than they ought to be.

-But no matter what kind of insurance you get (health, life, accident, home, auto, or whatever), you can’t really find protection from the future. Yes, you might get enough coverage to pay the bills if something bad happens, but insurance can never prevent those bad things from happening.

-Now for those who know and trust the Lord, you know what kind of guarantee He gives to those who are on His family plan. He says, “I’ll always be with you. Nothing can get to you without going through Me first. I’ve got you covered! Just put your trust in Me!”

-Here is the main thought I’d like to talk about today:

Prop: No matter how hard our enemy fights against us, God will take care of us if we will trust in Him.

Interrogative: How can we be sure that God has us covered?

TS: Let’s look at 3 realities that expose our enemy and assure us of God’s care.

I. Somebody Is Out to Get You! (Acts 23:12-15)

12 The next morning the Jews formed a conspiracy and bound themselves with an oath not to eat or drink until they had killed Paul. 13 More than forty men were involved in this plot. 14 They went to the chief priests and elders and said, "We have taken a solemn oath not to eat anything until we have killed Paul. 15 Now then, you and the Sanhedrin petition the commander to bring him before you on the pretext of wanting more accurate information about his case. We are ready to kill him before he gets here."

-There are a few interesting things to note about this section of verses. The obvious question that comes up is what happened to these 40 plus men who made vows not to eat or drink anything until they had killed Paul? Well, one might think that they either broke their vow or died from dehydration. However, Jewish Law had an allowance for broken oaths – even though God had told them not to make them if they couldn’t keep them. If someone’s oath was considered too difficult too fulfill, they simply brought an atonement offering to the temple and were released from fulfilling it.

-The main problem, of course, is that the motivation of the vow was completely wrong. No doubt many of them thought they were being pious and defending the honor of the God of Israel. Just like Paul himself thought he had been defending God’s honor by persecuting Christians. But James wrote that the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. James 1:20 “For man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” There is such a thing as righteous indignation, but please do not confuse your temper with God’s righteousness. It is not the anger of God that motivates us, but the love of Christ that compels us.

-Obviously, Paul’s opponents did not understand this. They thought they could take matters into their own hands and put a stop to anyone who appeared to threaten the Jewish religion and traditions. So, Paul became public enemy #1 to many of the Jews. There were many Jewish revolutionaries during this time called Zealots, who thought they were justified in using force to accomplish what they thought was God’s will. It was some of these people who apparently approached the high priest and the elders with their plot against Paul. The high priest and his Sadducee groupies were more than happy to go along with such a plan.

-Well, as we discussed a few weeks ago, we also have an enemy who wants to take us out. He wants to do more than just give us a bad day, he wants to kill us. That enemy is Satan and all of his minions. If he had the power, he would wipe out the entire human race – just to strike a blow at our Creator- the one who made us and loves us far more than we deserve!

-Please understand today that nobody is exempt. We all have the same enemy who is out to get us. Am I trying to make us paranoid? No. I’m trying to make us aware that we are at war, whether we want to be or not. You have an enemy who is trying to attack your mind, your body, soul and spirit. He will try to confuse you, distract you, discourage you, and even make you angry at God for the things that happen to you. He knows that if he can get your eyes off of the Lord, or at least make you angry at God, then he will have a greater opportunity to take you out. If he can isolate you from other believers, he knows he can get to you whenever he wants.

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