righteous, Acts 23, ‘ …more than forty of them…’

15 Jun

‘…more than forty of them…’ describes the Jews plot to kill Paul. While they are plotting, God is near, speaking, confirming Paul,

‘The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, “Take courage!As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.”

12 ‘The next morning some Jews formed a conspiracy and bound themselves with an oath not to eat or drink until they had killed Paul. ‘

How do I, do you, have we live at night?

How did Paul, after being beaten and the arrested, sleep…live by night?

He didn’t.

In jail Paul is visited by the Lord. Here Paul is comforted by God with the Lord confirming the steps, the path, Paul has chosen to journey. God stands near and speaks:- you have testified about me in Jerusalem and so will you do do in Rome.

Paul at night lives in, with, this meditation, this in conversation with God. He is near God.

The Jews of the Sanhedrin, on the other hand, are up this night. What is their meditations, their plans?

They plan death. Paul’s death. And they will totally fast till Paul passes. Luke describes their plans,

13 ‘More than forty men were involved in this plot. 14 They went to the chief priests and the elders and said, “We have taken a solemn oath not to eat anything until we have killed Paul. 15 Now then, you and the Sanhedrin petition the commander to bring him before you on the pretext of wanting more accurate information about his case. We are ready to kill him before he gets here.”

16 But when the son of Paul’s sister heard of this plot, he went into the barracks and told Paul.

17 Then Paul called one of the centurions and said, “Take this young man to the commander; he has something to tell him.” 18 So he took him to the commander.

The centurion said, “Paul, the prisoner, sent for me and asked me to bring this young man to you because he has something to tell you.”

19 The commander took the young man by the hand, drew him aside and asked, “What is it you want to tell me?”

20 He said: “Some Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul before the Sanhedrin tomorrow on the pretext of wanting more accurate information about him. 21 Don’t give in to them, because more than forty of them are waiting in ambush for him. They have taken an oath not to eat or drink until they have killed him. They are ready now, waiting for your consent to their request.”

22 The commander dismissed the young man with this warning: “Don’t tell anyone that you have reported this to me.”’

Consumed at night by hate, they desire not just Paul’s death, but by their prayer and fasting the Lord’s approval of their plans. They believe that by fasting the Lord will be in, be near and part of their and agreement to their plot. They desire righteousness.

But they deceive themselves.

In the dark night they see not God, Jesus or even Paul. Perhaps they see themselves as the ‘righteous’ in Psalm 58,

Psalm 58:10-

‘The righteous will be glad when they are avenged, when they dip their feet in the blood of the wicked.’

These ‘righteous’ Jews 40 want Paul dead. They desire to cleanse by bathing in his blood. No one who is righteous delights in another’s blood letting.

The righteous can not be made glad by another’s blood. Those near to God abhor the shedding of blood, the plotting of death and vengeance. No one. The Psalmist mis-steps in his description here. But John, in Revelation 13:12 describes true overcoming as,

11 ‘…they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.’

Paul is saved by the blood of Jesus and paul’s own testimony. This is why Paul travels to Jerusalem and Rome. To testify.

At night, during the days, pray, testify in prayer 🙏🏿. Testify to His saving blood.

Nothing but His, nothing but the testifying blood of Jesus makes righteousness.

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