Acts 23: Orchestrating the Plan
Acts 23 is very interesting because we get to see the simultaneous use of the natural and the supernatural in advancing the plan of God. First, after testifying before the Jewish leaders, Paul actually had a supernatural experience with Jesus Christ.
Act 23:11 And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.
After that, there was a Jewish plot to kill Paul by a band of 40 men who had sworn to not eat or drink until they had assassinated their target.
Act 23:15 Now therefore ye with the council signify to the chief captain that he bring him down unto you to morrow, as though ye would enquire something more perfectly concerning him: and we, or ever he come near, are ready to kill him.
Act 23:16 And when Paul’s sister’s son heard of their lying in wait, he went and entered into the castle, and told Paul.
In the first case, we see the supernatural providing encouragement for Paul. The text does not say if he was having doubts or any type of questions at this point, but even if he was not, I am sure he appreciated the supernatural encouragement.
In the second case, God used natural situations helped Paul remain safe. His nephew happened to hear what was going on and told Paul who told the centurions. Without that information, perhaps Paul would have been assassinated at that point.
The important part here is the plan of God was moving forward. God knew Paul needed to go to Rome. Therefore, he provided Paul with the encouragement to continue doing what he was doing. He simultaneously made sure that Paul was not killed before concluding that mission. God knew what was coming, and it was no surprise. However, it is a great privilege to be approximately to be 2000 years into the future and to have the ability to look back at how God was operating.