There are not enough days in a year to record every person who are part of God’s story in the Bible. There would not even be enough days in a year to record all those who came into contact with the gospel during Paul’s ministry… but, the Bible does record some of these. And Bernice was on of these.
Bernice was the daughter of Herod Agrippa 1, who was the grandson of Herod the Great, the king who reigned over Judea when Jesus was born. She was also the sister of Herod Agrippa 2.
Bernice had several short-lived marriages and, eventually, spent most of her time with her brother, Herod Agrippa 2… and there were rumors that their relationship was an inappropriate one. That was her situation when she encountered Paul at Caesarea.
Paul had been imprisoned at Caesarea because of a dispute with the Jewish leaders at Jerusalem. While Paul was there, Festus, the Roman governor, invited Agrippa 2 and Bernice to hear Paul’s case and help him decide what to do with Paul. Agrippa 2 and Bernice arrived with great fanfare… and sat before Paul. When Paul was allowed to speak, he boldly urged Agrippa 2 & Bernice to become Christians! Agrippa 2 & Bernice immediately left the room, declaring Paul to be innocent.
We hear nothing further about Bernice after this episode. Maybe she was not moved at all by Paul’s presentation. But maybe she was. We can only hope… and only she and God know.
God may well bring a life-changing encounter into your life today. Or, He might simply nudge you into a more honest, patient, self-controlled lifestyle. In any case, are you listening?
* We hear God speak when we are listening.
You can read Bernice’s story in Acts 25:13—26:32.