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Acts 23:12-35 - Homilies By E. Johnson

Paul at Caesarea.

I. " THE LORD IS MINDFUL OF HIS OWN ." Recall the beautiful song in Mendelssohn's 'St. Paul.'

1. The craft of their foes. They conspire against the righteous with a zeal worthy of a better cause ( Acts 23:12 , Acts 23:13 ); and cloak their designs under pious pretexts ( Acts 23:14 , Acts 23:15 ). 2. The Divine protection. He brings the counsels of wickedness to light ( Acts 23:16 ). The young man, whoever he was, Christian Or otherwise, became, in Divine providence, a guardian angel of the apostle.

"Nothing so fine is spun,

But comes to light beneath the sun,"

to the help of the good and the confusion of the wicked (cf. Psalms 7:15 ; Psalms 34:8 ). Sincerity and good faith are found where they are least expected, when God is guiding the hearts of men ( Acts 23:18 ).

II. THE GRACIOUS DELIVERANCE . ( Acts 23:23-35 .)

1. They are withdrawn from the snares of their foes. Paul, surrounded by the military guard, seems a visible picture of the angels of God encamping about those who fear him. "Against forty bandits he sends five hundred protectors."

2. Testimony to the truth is furnished on their behalf ( Acts 23:27 , etc.). The honorable and straightforward dealing of the heathen Romans stands in contrast to that of the orthodox Jews. Better have the spirit of the Law without the letter than the letter without the spirit. The very indifferentism of the Romans becomes overruled for the deliverance of Paul. Guarded in the palace of Herod, Paul has time for reflection and prayer. The intervals el arduous labor, the moments of respite from toil and conflict,—in these we may find proofs of the nearness and tenderness of God.—J.

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