Trusting God's Plan {Acts 25}

11:30 PM

By Becky Bramlett Austin

As I read and researched Chapter 25, I found several great questions to consider.

1. Does God orchestrate the details of our lives? 
The Jewish leaders are bloodthirsty and decide to appeal again to the successor of Felix to accuse Paul.  They request a favor of the new ruler, Festus, claiming that Paul has committed crimes that the Jewish Council wants Paul to stand trial for in Jerusalem. Their secret plan, however is to ambush and kill Paul as he is being moved to Jerusalem. Festus, however, frustrates their plans by saying Paul will remain in Caesarea and the Jews can travel there to make a case against him.  The Jews plead their case which has no real evidence or substance. Festus could have thrown out the case then and there or he could have decided to order Paul to go to Jerusalem.  Instead, he puts some choice in Paul's hand: “But Festus, wishing to do the Jews a favor, said to Paul, “Do you wish to go up to Jerusalem and there be tried on these charges before me?”” (V9) Paul exercises his right as a Roman citizen to stand trial before Caesar.  This will keep Paul safe from the plots of the Jews to kill him and will also place him in Rome. Do you remember what God told Paul in Chapter 23? 

“The following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Take courage, for as you have testified to the facts about me in Jerusalem, so you must testify also in Rome.””(v11) It's interesting to see how the circumstances played out. The Jews meant evil but God used their schemes to send Paul to Rome - right where He wanted him to be.

2. Who's really on trial here?
Just like when Jesus stood trial, the Roman ruler found no crime committed, no charge worthy of death.  He listened to Paul's testimony about Jesus but didn't really understand Jewish beliefs or customs and he asked the visiting King Agrippa and his sister Berniece to help him have better understanding and ability to put in writing to Caesar what Paul was being sent to Rome to be tried for. King Agrippa came from a lineage of evil kings. His great-grandfather had tried to kill Jesus as a baby; his grandfather had John the Baptist beheaded; his father had martyred the first apostle, James.  Berniece was his sister and there were many rumors that the two were involved in an incestuous relationshipKing Agrippa had no jurisdiction there and Paul's appearance before him became more of a hearing than a trial.  But on a spiritual level, there was still a trial taking place for Paul's testimony of Jesus would be knowledge that Festus, Agrippa and Berniece would be accountable for in terms of their own soul before God. 

3. Do I trust God's Plan?
Sometimes circumstances seems to be working against us.  Sometimes it's hard to understand why we face various trials in our lives. It can be very distressing when others accuse or oppose us and it can be depressing to feel imprisoned by our limitations and hardships. Am I tempted to make my own path when the way seems too dark, too tortuous, too strenuous, too confusing? Do I have the faith and fortitude to trust that God is navigating and leading me in the path he wants me to travel? 

What about you?  Do you find it hard to trust God's plan for your life?

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