31 The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying. 32 In Damascus the governor, under Aretas the king, was guarding the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desiring to arrest me; 33 but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and escaped from his hands.
The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Paul made a vow in the name of God.
who is blessed forever,
Paul was fully aware that an omniscient God watched what he said. This kind of God is worthy of praise. The Father’s character was the apostle’s witness to what he said.
knows that I am not lying.
The Father was a witness that Paul told the truth in this chapter (2 Co 1:18). His credibility was found in God. This was a solemn oath by Paul whereby God vouched for his veracity (Ro 9:1).
In Damascus the governor [ethnarch],
Paul indicated another situation where he suffered under the hands of government. In this case, the ethnarch was the governor of the city.
under Aretas the king,
Aretas was an Arabian Nabatean king, King Aretas IV (9 B.C.-A.D. 40). Although he had the title of a king, he functioned as a governor. He defeated Herod in a battle over a border dispute between Nabataea and Judaea. He was the father-in-law of Herod Antipas. Herod Antipas later divorced the daughter of Aretas.
was guarding the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desiring to arrest me;
After his conversion, Paul fled for his life from Damascus (Ac 9:23-25). The government was trying to arrest him because of his evangelistic activity in Arabia (Ga 1:17). This was the first event whereby people sought to kill the apostle.
but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall,
Paul did not save himself from Aretas the king; God did it for him through disciples in the city (Ac 9:25). His escape was by the humble and undignified means of being let down a wall in a fish basket.
and escaped from his hands.
Jews in Damascus plotted to take Paul’s life. The apostle escaped from Damascus in a humiliating way (Ac 9:19-25). This event took place in Nabatean Arabia three years after his becoming a Christian (Ga 1:17-18). From the very outset of Paul’s ministry, God worked through him.
Christians are weak apart from God’s power.
Christians can show how the Lord works through their weaknesses (2 Co 1:8; 3:5; 4:7-12; 5:1; 6:4-10; 7:5; 12:7-10; 13:4). God is the source of the believer’s strength. All that a Christian has is a gift from God (1 Co 4:7). This sets a contrast to overblown self-praise. By God’s power Christians are victors rather than victims.