Monday, 15 November 2021
For David says concerning Him:
‘I foresaw the Lord always before my face,
For He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken. Acts 2:25
Note: You can listen to today’s commentary courtesy of our friends at “Bible in Ten” podcast. (Click Here to listen)
You can also read this commentary, with music, courtesy of our friends at “Discern the Bible” on YouTube. (Click Here to listen), or at Rumble (Click Here to listen).
Peter has just spoken of the ministry, crucifixion, death, and resurrection of the Lord. Now, he will defend the statement that “it was not possible that He should be held by” death. He will do this by citing David from the psalms. As such, he begins with, “For David says concerning Him.”
The meaning of “concerning” is “in reference to.” What David wrote is in reference to the coming Messiah, as if He is writing about Himself. In other words, when reading the psalm, what David wrote at first appears to be referring to himself. David’s psalms are often from a first-person perspective, and they are centered around events in his life, and are often so personal in nature that it is obvious he is referring to himself. The 51st psalm (cited in the previous commentary) is such an example.
And yet, it is understood by Israel that the Scriptures, which include the psalms, are inspired by God. At times, they certainly carry a double significance – meaning they are personal, but that they also anticipate the coming Messiah. At other times, it is understood that they are certainly referring directly to the coming Messiah. They are prophetic in nature and speak of what is to occur in Him.
Peter will now cite Psalm 16 to make his case concerning Christ, and thus provide evidence that what occurred among the disciples was ordained of God. Both Acts and the Psalms will be cited in their entirety now. The Psalm is cited by Peter from the Greek version of the OT –
“I foresaw the Lord always before my face,
For He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken.
26 Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad;
Moreover my flesh also will rest in hope.
27 For You will not leave my soul in Hades,
Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
28 You have made known to me the ways of life;
You will make me full of joy in Your presence.” Acts 2:25-28
This is the original from the Hebrew –
“I have set the Lord always before me;
Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.
9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices;
My flesh also will rest in hope.
10 For You will not leave my soul in Sheol,
Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
11 You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:8-11
With the verses now cited, Peter continues, saying, “I foresaw the LORD always before my face.” This is not saying that He is seeing the Lord beforehand. Rather, it is stated from a personal reference point. In essence, “I see the Lord right before Me.” This is reflected in the Hebrew, “I have set the Lord always before me.”
The meaning is that the Lord (Yehovah) is always present with Him and is therefore ready to help Him and deliver Him. As this is from the Messiah’s reference, we can understand that even in the anguish of His coming death, He will be delivered. Hence, we can think of Christ’s time in mournful prayer and yet obedient submission to the will of the Lord. It is a note of encouragement and comfort which is then bolstered by the words, “For He is at my right hand.”
The right hand is the position of power. It is the position of honor. It is the position of dignity. The Lord is by His Messiah, ready to help and defend Him, and to exalt Him in due time. In the 110th Psalm, after the completion of His work, the positions are switched from that of verse 2:25, and the Messiah is set at the right hand of the Lord (Yehovah) –
The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at My right hand,
Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.”
2 The Lord shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion.
Rule in the midst of Your enemies! Psalm 110:1, 2
Charles Ellicott states of this position referred to now, “The Psalmist thought of the Eternal as the warrior thinks of him who, in the conflict of battle, extends his shield over the comrade who is on the left hand, and so guards him from attack.” It is a correct thought and is supported by the words of Psalm 91 –
“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.’” Psalm 91:1, 2
Jesus, the Messiah, has placed His trust in the eternal God and knows that He is safe. As such, Peter continues the quote by saying, “that I may not be shaken.”
The idea here is “shaken in mind” or “shaken in faith.” The Messiah would remain confident through the ordeal set before Him because He had the Lord before Him, even at His right hand. Paul’s words to the Thessalonians reflect the same thought –
“Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.” 2 Thessalonians 2:1, 2
Christ had an ordeal to face, and He set His eyes on the prize that lay ahead, not being shaken from it through fear or a love of the present world.
Life application: The level of our faith (not necessarily saving faith, but faith in the continued hand of the Lord in our lives) can be determined in seeing how we respond to trials, pains, difficulties, and the like. Are we moaning about every little thing that affects us personally, even when we hear of people with immensely greater trials around us? If so, we are doing nothing to build them up in their greater need, and it demonstrates a weakness in our reliance on the Lord.
Life is messy, it can get very complicated very quickly, and it can turn disastrous in a moment. Because of this, and because we have absolutely no control over the next moment of our lives, we are wise to leave everything in the Lord’s hands, surrendering to His will, relying on Him, and setting Him always before us.
We can do this by simply talking to Him throughout the day. We can do this by engaging with His word when we rise, when we drive (audio Bible, please!), when we have a break from work, and when we are ready to sleep. His word will inform us, guide us, comfort us, and encourage us.
The time we put the Lord before us will reflect our priorities. If we are not thinking about Him, we are engaging the world. And the world will never give us the true courage we need to conduct our affairs from an eternal perspective. Set the Lord before you and be encouraged in Him. Christ set the example, even when facing death. Let us follow Him in His steadfast reliance on the Lord.
Glorious God Almighty, may we always place You before us, trusting in You and Your promises because of the finished work of Christ. He trusted in You and was not moved. And You brought Him through His ordeal, seating Him at Your right hand. We now have the assurance that we too will be brought safely to You. Let us remember this as we face our own trials, woes, and difficulties. To Your glory, we pray. Amen.