“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:10).
All we know of him is that he was a “young man” (Acts 23:16). He appears but once, and vanishes from the page of Scripture. But he was God’s instrument, ready for His use at a very critical moment in the life of Paul, who was at that time in Roman custody, securely imprisoned, when forty of his enemies bound themselves under a great curse that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. Somehow his nephew, by one of those mysterious providences, as they are called, got into the secret of the conspiracy for the assassination of his uncle.
Young though he was, and at great personal risk, he determined on doing all he could to defeat the would-be murderers by giving information of the plot to Paul. Led by one of the centurions to the chief captain, who “took him by the hand,” and had a private interview with him; who, after hearing the story from his lips, enjoined silence on him. His work done, we hear no more of Paul’s sister’s son. He was God’s instrument for the deliverance of this great servant of Christ. In the case of Peter an angel was the instrument, and miraculous was his deliverance from prison. Here it was a youth who disappointed the band of assassins and prolonged the days of the Apostle.
“Say not, my soul, from whence can God relieve thy care:
Remember that omnipotence has servants everywhere.”
His servant may be a “little maid,” or “a lad with five barley loaves,” or a flock of ravens, or “a widow woman,” as well as an angel or a “sister’s son”; but everywhere, and at all times, God is able to pick up and send a servant when all hope in expected channels is gone.
This is full of encouragement, and well it is for our oft-troubled hearts to remember that our God is just as omnipotent as He is omniscient, and that His love is as great as His power. He can employ a “young man” in His service as He can use an Apostle in His ministry.
May we have “faith in God” at all times.