2 SAMUEL 22:1-23:23 | ACTS 2:1-47 | PSALM 122:1-9 | PROVERBS 16:19-20
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The chapter starts out with David, the poet, singing the praises of the Almighty. The imagery is grandiose and the scale, magnificent. But it isn’t merely the poetic merits of the text that are worthy of our attention. It is the pure emotion and utter determination in God’s goodness that David is writing about that we must pause to reflect upon. David says of the Almighty:
17 “He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
18 He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
19 They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the LORD was my support.
20 He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me.
The passage continues with more praises and such, but I found interesting these few verses that speak to David’s view of evil and his enemies. This is wisdom regarding the proper handling of everything evil:
6 But evil men are all to be cast aside like thorns,
which are not gathered with the hand.
7 Whoever touches thorns
uses a tool of iron or the shaft of a spear;
they are burned up where they lie.
David was not a perfect man, and yet there was something spectacular in how he was acutely cognizant of his failures, and always learned from them. And in addition to this quality of self-introspection, David was the quintessential optimist: he knew that God would take care of things. Would that we might learn to trust in the Lord a little more like David did!
Returning now to our reading in the book of Acts, we find a most fascinating account of an assembly of people who begin to speak in tongues. This is the Day of the Pentecost. It is the first such account of the Holy Spirit descending upon individuals who manifest this by way of preaching and praying aloud. This is indeed such an extraordinary sight to see people speaking in tongues that are not native to their own that some people begin to say that it is due to drunkenness. But Peter is quick to refute this, and offers a small sermon summarizing the events of the time.
He says: “Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 23 This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.
This is the beginning of the growth of the body of believers: men and women who willfully choose to acknowledge the truth as stated by Peter in the verses above, and call themselves followers of Christ. And the number of the followers has begun to grow, slowly at first right there in Roman-occupied Jerusalem, and then slowly around the world.
This is the account of the early believers: 42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
In our psalm for the day, the words penned by David many thousands of years before the Day of Pentecost read as if they are referring to the young Christians’ coming together to meet, talk, eat, and fellowship with one another in the city of Jerusalem. David writes:
3 Jerusalem is built like a city
that is closely compacted together.
4 That is where the tribes go up—
the tribes of the LORD—
to praise the name of the LORD.
Finally, one verse from the book of Proverbs worthy of record and rumination:
20 Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers,
and blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD.
May God bless the reading and reflection of His Word.