8“The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” (Deuteronomy 31:8 NASB95)
Moses hands over the books that he wrote to the priests, and tells the people that at the end of every seventh year during the feast of Tabernacles the whole thing is to be read to the people, so that they and their descendants would learn to fear the Lord. God tells Moses to get Joshua and come to the Tent, where He appears to them in the form of a cloud. God tells them that the people will turn from Him and play the harlot after they get into the land and are prosperous, and that He will in turn forsake them and hide His face from them. God instructs Moses in a song to teach the people, so it will testify against them and remind them where they should really be. The book that Moses wrote is to stay by the Ark of the Covenant also as a testimony. Moses commissions and encourages Joshua to be strong and courageous as he leads the people to do what God says. Moses tells the people that he knows they will be rebellious and stubborn when he is gone since they were that way when he was around. They will do evil and corrupt things and worship the work of their hands. So he gets ready to teach them the song.
Paul and the disciples in Acts 21 set sail for Tyre passing Cyprus on the way and spending a week in the Syrian city before setting out for Jerusalem. The disciples in Tyre warn Paul through the Spirit not to go to Jerusalem but Paul is determined. Sailing from Tyre they spend a day in Ptolemais encouraging the disciples there then sail on to Caesarea where they catch up to Phillip the evangelist (one of the seven) whose four daughters are prophetesses. A prophet named Agabus gives a prophetic warning to Paul that he will be bound by the Jews in Jerusalem and handed over to the Gentiles, and the disciples beg him not to go but he won’t be dissuaded. They arrive in Jerusalem and go to James and the elders and give a report of what they’ve been doing all this time. After glorifying God for the works He was doing, Paul is told that there are a lot of believers who are zealous for the law but have heard Paul is teaching people to ignore the customs. So they come up with a plan for Paul to pay the expenses of four men who are finishing a vow, then help them complete it at the Temple. When the time for the vow is almost complete, Paul is in the Temple with them when a riot starts by some Jews from Asia (remember those?) and they drag him out. Roman soldiers are dispatched to quell the disturbance, and they arrive and stop the beating of Paul and arrest him, but they can’t get any facts straight because of the trouble and start back to the barracks. Paul asks leave to address the crowd, and Chapter 21 is basically a recount of Paul’s experiences with his conversion. The crowd listens to him, up to the point that he says this:
21“And He said to me, ‘Go! For I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’ ” 22They listened to him up to this statement, and then they raised their voices and said, “Away with such a fellow from the earth, for he should not be allowed to live!” (Acts 22:21-22 NASB95)
It is the Gentiles being included in the kingdom that is the source of anger for these Jews. After this second eruption the commander of the Roman cohort in the city is about to have Paul flogged when he finds out that Paul is a Roman citizen. Then he decides to call a meeting of the Jewish Sanhedrin (council) and takes Paul down there to see if he can’t sort this out. Paul addresses the council and says his conscience is clear but is struck in the face at the command of the high priest. Paul calls the high priest a whitewashed wall because Paul was struck in violation of the Law, but repents a little when he finds out the guy is the high priest. So Paul, perceiving that there are both Sadducees (who believe in no resurrection) and Pharisees )who believe in a resurrection) present decides to cry out that he is on trial for the hope of the resurrection. This throws the meeting into turmoil, with some Pharisees saying they can find no wrong in Paul. But the confusion is too great and the commander removes Paul for his safety. The next night God encourages Paul, telling him he must witness in Jerusalem and also in Rome. Later, 40 Jews take an oath not to eat until they kill Paul, and get some of the Council members to call another meeting with Paul so they can murder him. However, Paul’s nephew learns of the plot and has him report it to the commander of the cohort. Instead, the commander takes a large number of troops as guards of Paul and sends them to Caesarea to Felix the governor. The commander says he could find nothing that Paul did wrong, but the issue causing his arrest was in relation to questions of Jewish law so he sent Paul to Felix to sort it out. Felix says he will have a hearing as soon as Paul’s accusers get there.