Alex Kremer 10-01-2023 // What a ”Coincidence!” Acts 23:12-35
A Christian woman was frequently heard praying for her food by her atheistic neighbor. He frequently taunted her for her foolish trust in, and devotion to, a God who didn't exist. When she ran out of groceries, she again turned in prayer to the Lord for help and thanking Him for how He would work. Again overhearing this, the neighbor went out and bought the groceries, determined to expose her faith as foolish. Upon delivering the groceries to her doorstep, he knocked and hid in the bushes. As expected, when the woman saw the groceries she praised God for His goodness to her. Leaping out of the bushes, he exclaimed, "You foolish woman! God didn't buy these, I did!" Hearing this, the woman praised even louder. "I trusted God would provide groceries, but I didn't know He was going to make the devil pay for them!"
We often go about our lives completely unaware of the ways in which God is working in our lives. What we attribute to mere coincidence, the perfect culmination of a series of circumstances which play out for our benefit. But we are surprised when we learn that God often uses unconventional means to accomplish His divine purposes. This includes using evil people and systems for His own glory.
In today's lesson, we see a plot on the part of forty Jews, in league with the Sanhedrin, to kill Paul, even taking an oath to eat nothing until Paul had been killed. But upon hearing of this plot, the Roman authorities step in to protect Paul. And while God is little mentioned directly in this passage, we see His fingerprints all over the events that transpire.
Thank you for listening to today's lesson. We pray that as we consider God's sovereign will played out in our lives, we would be encouraged by His love and care for His children.