Five days [after the Roman troops took Paul from Jerusalem to Caesarea,] Ananias, the high priest, arrived with some of the Jewish elders and the lawyer Tertullus, to present their case against Paul to the governor.
— Acts 24:1 NLT
The Jewish leaders despised Paul and his preaching about Jesus. They were determined to get rid of him. Their plan was to send a strong show of force and power to Caesarea and Governor Felix to try to bring Paul back to Jerusalem for trial and execution similar to what they had done with Jesus. The attempt to get rid of Paul reminds me so much of the book of Daniel and the work of those who despised the Jews and tried to get rid of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego by having them legally executed.* Just as God delivered Daniel's Jewish friends from their Babylonian accusers and later Daniel from his accusers, God delivered Paul from these Jewish accusers — as we will see in the coming days. Our God is the God of deliverance. He will rescue us from our accusers and give us freedom or deliver us through their attacks into his eternal presence and comfort.** Our hope and deliverance are in the hands of the Lord who loves us!
Dear Father, your children in challenging places in the world today are facing persecution. Some of them feel alone as they face the threat of imprisonment and even death. Open the eyes of your people to those who are suffering and in danger. Use us to work for their freedom. Most of all, dear Father, please make your presence known to them, so they don't feel alone. Please deliver them from the hand of those who oppose and persecute them and seek their death. We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.