“And he called unto him two centurions, saying, Make ready two hundred soldiers to go to Caesarea, and horsemen threescore and ten, and spearmen two hundred, at the third hour of the night; And provide them beasts, that they may set Paul on, and bring him safe unto Felix the governor.” — Acts 23:23–24
This is the third time that Claudius Lysias, the chief captain of the Romans at Jerusalem, had to rescue Paul. First, he rescued him from being stoned in the temple (21:31-32). Then, he rescued him from being torn apart by the Sanhedrin (23:10). Now, he is rescuing him from 40 men who vowed to not eat until they had assassinated Paul (23:12-32).
For a man like Paul who had faced so many difficulties for preaching the gospel and had no personal defence or army, a proverbial “lamb to the slaughter”, it must have been awesome to have 470 soldiers escort him to safety!
This shows us that we never need to worry or fear. God, at the right moment, can send His angels to deliver His people. If He can rally hundreds of soldiers to defend Paul, then He can do what is necessary to deliver us no matter how fanatical and bloodthirsty the enemy.
May the promise of God to Paul in the castle encourage us today, “Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome” (Acts 23:11). God still had a plan for Paul and would protect him to carry out that plan.
God may not always deliver us from trouble in such a dramatic way, but God is always in control of what is going on in our lives. Our job is to just obey and to preach His gospel wherever we go.