This chapter allows us to see Roman law and the Roman justice system in action. It is very similar to our own, for our own was modeled on it. Someone who has been charged with a crime, must face his accusers before he can be condemned, before a judge. The accusers tell in all ways how the accused has broken the law, and the accused then has his opportunity to speak in his own defense.
In Paul’s defense, he reaffirms with his own mouth, that he has lived his life without offense to God, in all ways which are approved by the Jews; in other words, keeping Torah. Torah obedience did not pass away with the death and resurrection of Jesus.
Another thing which I noticed, is that since the devil is the accuser of the brethren (Rev 12:10), this is the same pattern he follows when he accuses the brethren (me and you!) before the throne night and day! He accuses us of our transgressions of the Law. It is our transgressions of the Law, the Torah, that is the definition of sin, for the Torah defines what is sin and what is righteousness in God’s eyes (1 Joh 3:4). Hallelujah, for this reason the blood of Jesus paid the penalty for all our transgressions of Torah, and no penalty remains for those things which the accuser accuses us of! And we, who love our Abba Daddy, our Heavenly Father, strive to live according to the definition of righteousness found in Torah, not to earn salvation, but just because we want to walk in a manner that pleases Him in all things (Joh 14:15)!
God used the accusations which were brought against Paul, by which the enemy I am sure hoped to have him silenced and his work curtailed one way or another, to give Paul the floor before judges, governors, and kings, to witness to Jesus the Messiah, the resurrection of the dead, and the coming judgment of sin! So we see that God does indeed use all things which the enemy meant for evil, for good, for those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose (Rom 8:28). What was Paul’s purpose, or any of our purpose, seeing as how we left here once our salvation in Jesus Christ is assured? To be a WITNESS! It is not to make money to have nice houses and nice things and live in comfort. God is not against those things, as long as we are also fulfilling our purpose of being a WITNESS to Jesus Christ!
Now even though Paul was no longer going on missionary journeys, the Lord still used him. He was witnessing before kings and to his jailers, and his friends were allowed to come to him without restriction, so he continued to teach and build up the church, I am sure, in Caesarea and the surrounding area. And I am sure, any representative of any of the churches that he had previously planted in the Empire could find him there to give him reports and letters and ask for counsel.
Now I wonder if Paul chafed at his lengthy imprisonment without resolution. However, it was during this time that he wrote his letters to the churches, that became the epistles in our New Testament. He couldn’t go any longer to the church himself and resolve problems in person, so he had to put pen to paper and send his counsel by letter. What a blessing for us! Could it be that a trial we are going through, a seeming delay in a resolution to prayer, will still be, in God’s wisdom, bearing fruit two millennia later? It was for Paul! The wise in heart wait on the Lord in all things!