Mighty God, You are great beyond my imagining, wise beyond my understanding, loving beyond my deserving. All praise to You.
Read Acts 13:21-37
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear…he will also provide a way out” (1 Cor. 10:13). How wonderful a promise that is!
Paul’s sermon on salvation history (17-41) hurries along until reaching Israel’s desire for a king (21). Paul slows here, his intent being to show that the Messiah must come from the royal line of David and that Jesus fulfills this prophecy. But let’s step back a little, because Paul chooses not to explain that the monarchy arose from a failed priesthood.
God’s holy nation was supposed to be a theocracy. Although Moses anticipated that the people might desire a king (Deut. 17:14-20), they should not have needed one. God dwelled with them. In the tabernacle, the priests could approach God and ascertain his will. God’s rule should have been enough but the priesthood was human and vulnerable (as, indeed, would be the kings). To mediate God’s will demanded that they maintain purity of life. The trigger for the people’s request for a king was the corrupt priesthood of Samuel’s sons (1 Sam. 8:1-5). Samuel felt rejected until God assured him that it was not he but God whom they were rejecting (1 Sam. 8:7). Samuel still tried to talk the people out of it until God told him to let them have their way (1 Sam. 8:10-22).
The lesson here is deeply significant. Failure is not final. God responds by opening a new path. The priests could have remained faithful to God as the nation’s leaders but when they did not, God permitted the monarchy, incorporating it into his salvation plan. His Messiah would embrace kingship as well and be born from the royal line of David. God is in control! His ultimate plans cannot be thwarted by human failure, but along the way he shows willingness to respond to our failures in new and unexpected ways.
Think back to those times when God gave you a second chance, a new beginning. Thank him and renew your vows of devotion to him.
Lord, I’m sorry for my failures. Thank You for not rejecting me and for opening up new paths. Help me to discern and follow them.
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