Acts 4:26

Just a teeny walk down from the York residence. Nice General store.

Friday, 28 January 2022

The kings of the earth took their stand,
And the rulers were gathered together
Against the Lord and against His Christ.’ Acts 4:26

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).

The words of the group, which are citing the 2nd Psalm, continue now with verse 2 of the psalm. This is a direct citing of the Greek translation of the psalm as well. As such, the words begin with, “The kings of the earth took their stand.”

At times, the word “kings” is used somewhat more freely than our modern sense of the word. Today we think of the sovereign over a nation, but the intent here can signify people in positions of power, especially when they represent another who is sovereign. Therefore, the thought of Pilate representing Caesar could fit into this thought. Further, there is Herod Antipas who was known as the “tetrarch of Galilee” in Luke 3:1, who is also known as a king in Mark 6:14.

As such, there is every reason to assume that this is considered fulfilled by past events in the eyes of the disciples, even if it continues to be true even to modern times. Kings of the earth continue to fight against the name of Jesus, but the disciples are looking at what occurred during Christ’s ministry and are noting that it is an absolute fulfillment of David’s words. What is also true is that the same ruling authorities would continue to do so, even as is recorded in Acts, such as in Acts 12 –

“Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church. Then he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also. Now it was during the Days of Unleavened Bread. So when he had arrested him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to keep him, intending to bring him before the people after Passover.” Acts 12:1-4

Next, the words of the psalm read, “And the rulers were gathered together.” This is recorded again and again in the gospels, even right up until the time of Christ’s crucifixion. But more, and what probably brought the citing of the psalm to mind in the first place, is that they had continued to do so even after the resurrection.

The power of God in Christ is evident and on full display among the apostles, clearly demonstrating that He is both alive and in possession of the power of God, and yet the council had continued to stand against Him. That is seen in the third clause of the verse, saying, “Against the Lord and against His Christ.”

The original Hebrew reads, “Against Yehovah and against His Anointed.” The word “Anointed” is a translation from the Hebrew “Messiah,” and that is a direct equivalent to the Greek “Christ.” The meaning of this word does not necessarily have to refer to “THE MESSIAH,” but can refer to anyone who is anointed for a position.

Leviticus 4:3 speaks of the “anointed priest” with this word. David refers to the office of king, such as King Saul or himself, because they had been anointed to that position, for example –

“Then Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it on his head, and kissed him and said: ‘Is it not because the Lord has anointed you commander over His inheritance?’” 1 Samuel 10:1

The title is given to Cyrus, King of Persia, in Isaiah 45:1. However, in the case of the psalm, it is speaking of a particular person who would come to fulfill a prophesied role. The Lord God anointed Jesus with His Spirit, and thus to come against Jesus, God’s Anointed, is to come against the Lord Himself. The people mentioned in this verse had directly butted heads with the God of the universe.

Life application: As noted, the rulers of the world (obviously!) continue to set themselves against the Lord Jesus. The rulers of Israel do as well. They reject Christ as Lord, and many in the rabbinic and religious circles go further, actively pursuing and attacking believers. There is an underlying enmity towards Jesus that permeates Jewish society.

But that is not unlike much of the world, even the once Christian world. To mention Jesus in public can cause major division in Germany, the UK, the US, and so on. And yet, these nations once openly allowed the open exercise of faith in Him to one degree or another. This will certainly only get worse until the coming of the Lord for His church.

Until that happens, however, the Great Commission remains in effect. We have a job to do, and we have good news to share. But the Lord has not left us without His presence. He is here with us, and He will not leave us nor forsake us. If we get attacked, or even killed, for talking about Jesus, such is life. We have a job to do, and we should be willing to expend ourselves in doing it.

Be ready and willing to speak out this great and exalted Name. It is what we have been called to do.

Lord God, thank You for allowing us to be Your messengers of the wonderful news of salvation, reconciliation, and peace that is found in the gospel of Jesus. May we be responsible to uphold our part of this process by being willing to speak. To Your glory. Amen.