Summary: The Bible often teaches and illustrates the doctrine of God’s providence; His providence should be a source of great comfort and instruction for every believer.
“What rotten luck I’ve been having lately!” “I’m having a bad day!” “Oh, well, whatever will be will be, and there’s nothing that we can do about it!”
You’ve probably heard people say all of these statements. Perhaps you’ve even said or thought something similar yourself at times.
But all of those declarations are at odds with Biblical truth, because each statement goes against the truth of God’s providence. There is no such thing as luck or pure chance. If we have a bad day, it is because the Lord has allowed these circumstances for our benefit.
Bad days don’t just happen! “Whatever will be will be” reflects a view of our circumstances as being caused by impersonal fate.
The Bible often teaches and illustrates the doctrine of God’s providence; His providence should be a source of great comfort and instruction for every believer. It means that God is not distant, passive, or unconcerned with the daily events in our lives. Rather, as our loving and caring Heavenly Father, He actively governs the daily events of our lives, usually behind the scenes, without in any way robbing us of the duty of making responsible choices.
The story in our text illustrates for us the doctrine taught elsewhere of God’s providence. The governing verse for this and all of the events before Paul reaches Rome is verse 11, where the Lord promises Paul that he must witness at Rome also. God has declared His sovereign purpose, and we will see it unfold in the chapters ahead.
God declares that Paul will bear witness for Him in Rome. Over 40 Jewish terrorists determine that even if they die in the process, they will not eat or drink until they assassinate Paul. Guess who prevails?
I. THE PLAN OF DECEPTION (12-15)
The opposition that we face often comes from those who are religious rather than from the pagans.
Paul’s opposition here came from the Jews, and not just from the average, go-to-synagogue Jews, but from the Jewish leaders.
A. The enemy was dedicated
This was a dedicated bunch after Paul. They had the utmost degree of indignation against Paul because he was the apostle of the Gentiles
The very people Paul loved so much, those whom he was willing to die for to see them saved, desire to see him dead.
They took an oath that would not eat or drink before they had killed Paul. How this rebukes God’s people in our day that often will not go without even the nonessentials to serve the Lord.
B. The enemy was deceitful
There was no way of getting near Paul in the castle. He is there under the particular protection of the government and is imprisoned, not, as others are, lest he should do harm, but lest he should have harm done to him; and therefore the plan is that the chief priests and elders would desire that the governor of the castle let Paul come to them to the council-chamber, to be further examined. In his passage from the castle to the council, they would kill Paul.
The plan was well laid; and nothing but the interposition of Providence could have prevented its execution.
II. THE PROVISION FROM THE DIVINE (16-22)