Acts 23 A Protected Prisoner
Acts 23:23 He summoned two of his centurions and said, “Get 200 soldiers ready with 70 cavalry and 200 spearmen to go to Caesarea at nine tonight. Also provide mounts so they can put Paul on them and bring him safely to Felix the governor.”
Dusty nudged Cornie’s shoulder, thinking he may just have another carrot.
“No more treats for you right now, Dusty. We both have work to do. We have to help transport a prisoner to Caesarea tonight.” Cornie gave his horse a pat on its mane, as he mounted. It was almost time to get into formation for a night ride. Cornie rode to his place in the formation. His centurion smiled at him, and Cornie smiled back. The centurion had the same green eyes as his second oldest daughter. Cornie wanted to please the centurion — not only because he loved being a soldier but because he wanted to get to know his daughter better. He dreamed of going home to her beautiful green eyes every night. “Concentrate Cornie!”, he reminded himself as he took his place in the formation. A sense of anticipation was in the air. Night rides were not that usual, yet he knew that the commander would not have ordered one if it was unnecessary. Cornie was pleased to serve in a unit commanded by Claudius Lysias. Claudius was a fair man and only gave his soldiers necessary duties. Cornie sat up in the saddle, proud to be part of the Roman Cavalry. He noticed that the prisoner was now being brought out — a short, bald Jewish man, who was helped on to a horse. “This is about something even bigger than Rome,” thought Cornie. Then, he shook off the thought. What could be bigger than Rome, the world’s greatest empire?
Soon the command came to move forward and 70 cavalry members, 200 soldiers, 200 spearman and one prisoner left for Caesarea. The ground thundered as they moved.
The story of Cornie and his horse Dusty is of course fiction. Yet, there are so many unnamed people in scripture. It is sometimes fun for me to imagine what they may have been going through.
Paul’s life had been threatened with 40 men making a vow to kill him. The Roman commander took steps to guard his life by sending him to the governor. Paul was guarded by 470 trained soldiers, so if the men had tried to take his life, they would have been out numbered by more than 11 to one. The commander avoided the possible confrontation by having Paul leave the area before the planned attack.
God protects his own — even if he has to use Roman commanders and unnamed cavalry personnel to do it. God had promised Paul he would go to Rome, that Paul would fulfill his purpose and glorify God.
Question for myself: Am I fulfilling my purpose, and letting the consequences rest in God’s capable hands.? Am I doing what I know is God’s purpose for me: things like worshipping him, getting to know Him better and reading his Word?
Prayer: Lord, help me to follow you closely. You are my protection. Amen.
CC: K Carswell 2022
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible, Copyright 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by Permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible, Holman CSB and HCSB are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.