Acts 25:13-27: The One Enthroned in Heaven
February 19, 2023
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
Once again, the powers that be are taking an inordinately long time to exercise any kind of justice with regard to Paul. Once again, we sense that Paul is a pawn in a chess game—at the beck and call of governors and kings. What must it have felt like to feel so powerless? To be, as it were, in the dragon’s lair with (apparently) nothing to defend yourself from the talons of the beast? Perhaps you sense that you are in a situation a bit like that now. All the normal rules of procedure and behavior are not open to you. Things are happening to you, things that you wish were not happening, and you do not sense any particular way out, or any obvious thing to do about it.
In these few verses, we are waiting before Paul gives yet another brilliant defense of the gospel in this most difficult of contexts (we will read about that in chapter 26), and in the meantime, we are left to wonder how a man such as Paul managed to keep himself in the right frame of mind, and in readiness, to be able to act and speak as he did.
Remember that Jesus did promise to give us words at such times.
“And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.” (Mark 13:11).
If you are facing a situation that feels like that which Paul faced in this chapter, take comfort from the promise of Christ that he will help you in your hour of need, and also in the example of Paul who proved that promise.
The irony, of course, is that for all the “pomp” and ceremony and self-importance of Agrippa and Bernice (and Festus), the Royal Rule of Christ is having his way through it all. Even when you are faced by such naked displays of power as this one—the power desk, the corner office, the display of physical might and positional authority—remember that,
“the one enthroned in heaven laughs” (Psalm 2:4)
And we should
“serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling” (Psalm 2:11).
“Blessed are all who take refuge in him” (Psalm 2:12).
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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