The Platform

"So, on the next day when Agrippa came together with Bernice amid great pomp, and entered the auditorium accompanied by the commanders and the prominent men of the city, at the command of Festus, Paul was brought in." Acts 25:23

Like strutting peacocks, King Agrippa and Berinice entered the seat of Roman power. It was the best show in town. God had not only provided Paul with a front row seat. He was the main attraction. Governor Festus was merley the master of ceremonies. He set the stage with a few remarks of his own, before Paul set foot on the stage.

"But I found that he had committed nothing worthy of death; and since he himself appealed to the Emperor I decided to send him." v. 25

Appealing to King Agrippa's vanity, the Roman Governor sought his assistance in framing a letter that would be sent to Caesar describing the charges made by the Jews against Paul. This act of self-deprecation was also very self-serving. Governor Festus was highly skilled at the politician's art of covering his bases. As the CEO of Roman authority in the region, he was also adept at CYA. In this case, he would be able to take the credit if all went well, but have someone in line to share the blame if it did not.

"For it seems absurd to me in sending a prisoner, not to indicate also the charges against him." v. 27

Definition of the absurd: a situation in which life seems irrational and meaningless

"The absurd is the essential concept and the first truth"--Albert Camus.

I have no idea what Camus meant, but I this I know. Sometimes God takes His time building the platform He intends to be used for the presentation of His message. The more powerful the message, the greater the stage, the longer the wait. It may be true that time waits for no man, but anyone who has yielded to God's purpose has learned to wait on Him. The Psalmist reminds us that our times, and our enemies are God's hands. Good to know.

"My times are in Your hand; Deliver me from the hand of my enemies and from those who persecute me." Psalm 31:15

Note to self: While waiting in the wings of what appears to the be Theater of The Absurd, practice these lines: "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

Paul was being provided with the finest stage in the region. No expense had been spared to build the auditorium. No small effort had been made to assemble the leading people of the city, and the nation. What appeared to be years of waiting in vain, in a prison cell, was actually a rehearsal hall.

Time was not wasted at all. God had been preparing the messenger, and God had been assembling people. Those who had gathered in the auditorium to hear Paul would never have heard God's message, if Paul had not been placed exactly where he was. To the leading people of his day, Paul looked like a prisoner. In the eyes of God, he was a preacher.

God had been guiding circumstances through the hands of Paul's enemies. They were unwittingly carrying out His will to achieve God's purpose. God's purpose is to conform His people to His will, not to make them comfortable with their own will.

Timing is everything. It is a process. In this case it involved the turning of Paul's enemies into instruments in His hands, and the taming Paul into a broken man, useful for His purpose. Broken people are not discarded by God. They are harnessed by Him.

The call of God's child is not the call of the wild, but the voice of The Shepherd. Jesus said, "My sheep hear My voice." Paul listened, and learned from Jesus, while he was in God's waiting room. The waiting room became his rehearsal hall before he took the stage to speak for God.

While everything around him must have looked hopeless, meaningless and senseless, it was all being put together for God's purpose. Waiting on God is all about timing, turning and taming.

God's timing involves turning and taming. While you wait on God, pray for the turning of your enemies, and the taming of your soul. Praying enables you to love the former and embrace the latter. TALK LESS! PRAY MORE!