Page 9 - December 2018 - Truth & Tidings
P. 9

Jerusalem and Judea would be rid of the   the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord”
        man who was spreading his perfidious and   (Prov 16:33, KJV). Ruth’s “hap” might be
        blasphemous doctrines. Something of the   to come into the field of Boaz (Ruth 2:3),
        depth of sincerity which only a fanatical   but behind it was the hand of God. Paul’s
        mentality can produce is seen in the curse   nephew was not there by coincidence.
        under which they placed themselves: they   Someone has aptly said that coincidence is
        were not going to eat or drink until they   when God chooses to remain anonymous.
        had slain Paul (Acts 23:12, 14). Nothing   Events proceed with haste as the young
        short of a vow solemnized this conspiracy!  man makes the information known to Paul,
          Once again, the counsels of the ungodly   who in turn sends him to the centurion. It
        were at variance with the purposes of God.   must have been with some trepidation that
        While Paul’s itinerant ministry would   the young man recounted the news first
        be sharply curtailed from this point on   to the Roman centurion, and then to the
        (perhaps only interrupted by a brief visit   chief captain. Would the Roman believe
        to several locations during his release be-  the word of one of the despised Jews?
        tween Acts 28 and 2 Timothy), the majority   Would he take the word of a young man,
        of his written ministry for the people of   perhaps even just a lad? If it were accurate,
        God of all ages still lay ahead. Imagine   it would entail a total change in plans and
        being without the epistles of Ephesians,   some measure of risk for the chief captain.
        Colossians, Philippians, Philemon, 1 and 2   Fearlessly, the young man entered the
        Timothy and Titus? (We won’t argue about   presence of the chief captain, where he re-
        Hebrews here!) What invaluable teaching   lated his information. Similar to the young
        we would have been deprived of by the   maid in Naaman’s household (2Kings 5),
        assassination of Paul.               he told what he knew, and accomplished
          God, however, is never at a loss or taken   far more than he ever would understand.
        by surprise. There are no emergencies or   Eternity alone will reveal to him what
        crises before the sapphire throne.  The   was accomplished by his brave testimony
        divine purposes in the past had hung on   before the centurion and his captain.
        the slender thread of one life or one deed   Small deeds can have momentous con-
        to survive. Joash (2Kings 11) is a reminder   sequences. It required courage and faith
        of the courage of one woman, Jehosheba, to   for the little maid to speak to Naaman’s
        preserve the royal seed (and the fulfillment   wife. But how many have been saved by
        of God’s covenant with David).       reading the story of Naaman? It took cour-
          In this instance, the plot is discovered   age for Paul’s nephew to divulge the plot
        by Paul’s sister’s son. Conjecture is, at the   to the Roman authorities. But once again,
        least, limited and, at the most, dangerous,   consider the myriads of believers who have
        but had his sister been brought to Christ   been blessed by reading Paul’s subsequent
        after Paul’s conversion? Was this a pre-  epistles. May we be encouraged and chal-
        emptive strike by God to preserve His   lenged to tell what we know, do what we
        servant? Was the young man, his nephew,   can, and give what we have in devotion
        saved later, as well? Did he just “happen”   to the Lord Jesus, conscious that while we
        to be in Jerusalem? Did he just “happen” to   may not see the full fruits of our deeds,
        overhear the conspirators? The wise man   they will wash up on the shore of eternity
        taught us, “The lot is cast into the lap; but   to be remembered forever.

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