“The prisoner Paul called me and asked me to bring this young man to you; he has something to tell you.” The tribune took him by the hand, drew him aside privately, and asked, “What is it that you have to report to me?” Acts 23:18b-19
The Jerusalem forty who join in a conspiracy to kill Paul bind their intent with an oath not to eat or drink until they have killed him. This type of vow is one that would be easily undone when they go to the temple priest for absolution. After making the oath they inform the chief priests and elders of the temple, asking that they notify tribune Lysias to bring Paul. They suggest they tell tribune they want to make a more thorough examination of Paul’s case and when Paul is before them the forty will kill Paul.
The son of Paul’s sister heard this talk of ambush and goes next door to the temple, to the castle with barracks, and tells Paul of the plot. Paul calls the centurion guard and says, “Take this young man to the tribune, for he has something to report to him.” Acts 23:17 Kindly the tribune takes the boy by the hand, finds a private place to talk, and the boy tells him of the plot to kill Paul, his Uncle. Then tribune tells the boy to tell no one that they have talked together.
Tribune has pulled Paul from violence twice, gone to listen to him stand before the council and high priest to hear that no charges are brought against Paul, and now tribune makes another swift choice to help Paul. God has surely been using tribune for his good purpose for Paul. Last night Jesus told Paul that he is to witness in Rome and God has this plan working in steps or segments.
Has God called you to a particular use for Him and yet you find there are steps necessary to arrive at that destination? Courage given to you by the Holy Spirit will get you there as you lean on Christ to be worry free and complete the steps necessary to complete the segments you must complete to reach the goal. Paul is witness to this and he shows us the courage it takes to stand firm in Christ as we witness again and again on the way to that destination.
Paul has an express promise from Christ that he is to witness in Rome and so he does not neglect means toward his personal safety and that of his family. Like Paul, we do not put God to the test. To pay attention to safety is Spirit driven.
12 In the morning the Jews joined in a conspiracy and bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink until they had killed Paul. 13 There were more than forty who joined in this conspiracy. 14 They went to the chief priests and elders and said, “We have strictly bound ourselves by an oath to taste no food until we have killed Paul. 15 Now then, you and the council must notify the tribune to bring him down to you, on the pretext that you want to make a more thorough examination of his case. And we are ready to do away with him before he arrives.” 16 Now the son of Paul’s sister heard about the ambush; so he went and gained entrance to the barracks and told Paul. 17 Paul called one of the centurions and said, “Take this young man to the tribune, for he has something to report to him.” 18 So he took him, brought him to the tribune, and said, “The prisoner Paul called me and asked me to bring this young man to you; he has something to tell you.” 19 The tribune took him by the hand, drew him aside privately, and asked, “What is it that you have to report to me?” 20 He answered, “The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down to the council tomorrow, as though they were going to inquire more thoroughly into his case. 21 But do not be persuaded by them, for more than forty of their men are lying in ambush for him. They have bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink until they kill him. They are ready now and are waiting for your consent.” 22 So the tribune dismissed the young man, ordering him, “Tell no one that you have informed me of this.” Acts 23:12-22