If someone didn’t intervene, the Apostle Paul would be killed. More than 40 men had sworn not to consume any food until they had killed him. When the men brought their plot to the chief priests and elders, it was overheard by Paul’s young nephew. Acting quickly, the young man sneaked into the castle where his uncle was detained and told him everything he had heard.
Paul called for a centurion and told the soldier to bring his nephew to the chief captain. The soldier did as Paul requested; and the next thing Paul’s nephew knew, he was talking with the commander. When the high-ranking official heard the boy’s words, he ordered two centurions to gather 200 footsoldiers, 70 horsemen, and 200 spearmen to escort the apostle safely to the governor in Caesarea under the cover of darkness. Paul’s young nephew had saved his life. Thanks to him, Paul would live to preach another day.
The courage of Paul’s nephew should provide inspiration for all of us to do the right thing when given opportunity. What is even more important from this story is the role anyone can play in God’s plan. God is not limited by our age, race, weaknesses, or physical handicaps. As 2 Chronicles 16:9a states, “. . . The eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.”
If your heart is right with God, then there is no limit to the things He can accomplish through you. You might have an opportunity to make a heroic rescue like Paul’s young nephew; you could save a nation like Esther, the young, Jewish queen of Persia; you may deliver your family from starvation and lead a nation in which you were a prisoner to economic prosperity like Joseph; you could provide hope and healing to a high-ranking, enemy military official like the Jewish servant girl who waited on Naaman’s wife — or you could accomplish something even greater. All it takes is a pure and willing heart, and God’s strength will make up the difference.
Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.