Acts 4:23-37

It’s important to note that the disciples look to the Scripture for guidance and encouragement. Told that the religious authorities said that they shouldn’t spread the gospel, they turn to Psalm 2:

Why do the nations rebel? Why are the countries devising plots that will fail? The kings of the earth form a united front; the rulers collaborate against the LORD and his anointed king. They say, ‘Let’s tear off the shackles they’ve put on us. Let’s free ourselves from their ropes.’ The one enthroned in heaven laughs in disgust; the Lord taunts them. Then he angrily speaks to them and terrifies them in his rage, saying, ‘I myself have installed my king on Zion, my holy hill.’ The king says, ‘I will announce the LORD’S decree. He said to me: ‘”You are my son. This very day I have become your father. Ask me, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance, the ends of the earth as your personal property. You will break them with an iron scepter; you will smash them like a potter’s jar!”‘ So now, you kings, do what is wise; you rulers of the earth, submit to correction! Serve the LORD in fear! Repent in terror! Give sincere homage! Otherwise he will be angry, and you will die because of your behavior, when his anger quickly ignites. How blessed are all who take shelter in him!

By using this passage they remind themselves that God said that this kind of rebellion would happen, and that the kings and rulers would be against Jesus. But the context of Psalm 2 assures them that this rebellion is useless, and the God’s kingdom will prevail. In fact, even in their rebellion the leaders were accomplishing God’s plan. The disciples ask for God to continue to use and empower them, which He does through the Holy Spirit.

If we have that same commitment, to turn to Scripture for hope, encouragement, guidance, and direction, I believe that we will develop into the same type of community that we read about in 32-37. Caring, sharing, witnessing, and loving. One such individual in the early church was Barnabas, the “son of encouragement.” He is going to feature prominently in Paul’s travels!

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