Don’t Miss It


We live in a culture that values experiences. We desire to capture every moment on camera because we don’t want to run the risk of missing something or forgetting about it. One of our favorite things to do as a family is to sit down with our two boys and look at old baby pictures together. As we reflect on the memories, it almost always leads to laughter and sometimes even a realization of something that we might have missed in the moment. In today’s passage, we are going to reflect on something that often gets overlooked in our lives: God’s providence.

  • How would you define providence?


23 And as they were shouting and throwing off their cloaks and flinging dust into the air, 24 the tribune ordered him to be brought into the barracks, saying that he should be examined by flogging, to find out why they were shouting against him like this. 25 But when they had stretched him out for the whips, Paul said to the centurion who was standing by, “Is it lawful for you to flog a man who is a Roman citizen and uncondemned?” 26 When the centurion heard this, he went to the tribune and said to him, “What are you about to do? For this man is a Roman citizen.” 27 So the tribune came and said to him, “Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?” And he said, “Yes.” 28 The tribune answered, “I bought this citizenship for a large sum.” Paul said, “But I am a citizen by birth.” 29 So those who were about to examine him withdrew from him immediately, and the tribune also was afraid, for he realized that Paul was a Roman citizen and that he had bound him.

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. Why did the Roman official order that Paul be interrogated?
  2. What was their response to Paul’s claim of Roman citizenship?
  3. Why do you think they responded in such a manner?
  4. How is God’s providence evident in this passage?
  5. How, specifically, has God’s providence been evident in your life?


In Acts 21, we discovered the hostility the Jews had toward Paul’s message and inclusion of the Gentiles. In fact, they were seeking to kill him until a Roman official interrupted them. Paul’s timely question saved his life because a Roman citizen could not legally be flogged unless proven guilty of a crime.

As we read through this passage, it is interesting to note that God’s providential care of Paul extended even to his birthplace. As a Roman citizen, Paul enjoyed the protection afforded by the Roman Empire. The reality is that God’s providence can be seen throughout Paul’s life, and the same is true for us. God’s protective care is something that we often take for granted or even miss.

  • Reflect on all the ways in which God has protected and cared for you.
  • Thank God for his providence in your life!