Here in Acts 4 Israel’s ungodly leaders threatened Peter and John telling them they were no longer to preach about Jesus (vv. 17-18). Instead of making them and the other disciples afraid, as John MacArthur says, “it exhilarated them.” Though God may allow men to criticize or persecute us at times, we can rejoice in the fact that He will turn it to our good and His glory at the right time!
Once again I’m amazed at how often our Old and New Testament readings fit together. (See today’s reading in Psalm 76.7-12.) Remember, it is all one continuous story written by the same Author! Should we be surprised?!
The disciples even quote an Old Testament passage here, (Ps. 2.1-2):
“Why did the nations rage,
And the people plot vain things?
The kings of the earth took their stand,
And the rulers were gathered together
Against the LORD and against His Christ.”
Here in Acts 4 the ungodly leaders of Israel threatened Peter and John telling them they were no longer to preach about Jesus (Acts 4.17-18). Instead of making them and the other disciples afraid, as John MacArthur says, “it exhilarated them.” They just had a prayer meeting!
Verse 24, 29, 30, “So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said. ‘Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them.’ … Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.'”
A fool has no heart for wisdom because wisdom is truth and knowledge applied in a godly way. Only the Spirit of God can provide that ability, but the good news is, for those who belong to Him, the wisdom we need is ours for the asking!
Verse 16, “Why is there in the hand of a fool the purchase price of wisdom, since he has no heart for it?”
People with the ability to “buy” wisdom have always surrounded themselves with advisers. The Pharaoh’s of Egypt had their wise men, as did the Babylonian and other pagan kings. The Jewish kings also had their advisers. In modern times even criminals and kingpins have their lawyers and accountants.
In reality, it’s impossible to “buy” wisdom even if we have the “purchase price.” We may be able to buy information, but we need God’s Spirit and His wisdom to apply it in wise and godly ways.
But the good news is, when we have the Spirit of God because we belong to Him, the wisdom we need is ours for the asking (Jas. 1.5).
Fools, however, are not interested in genuine wisdom, only their own opinions (Prov. 18.2). In fact, Proverbs 23.9 says they despise it. This is the attitude of many in our relative, “my truth is what I believe it is” culture.
The description of the temple is beautiful and amazing to me. Many believe that, even now, preparations are being made to rebuild it, which Scripture tells us will happen as part of the events of the last days. At that time the Jews will resume temple worship.
What an exciting time in which we live. It’s quite possible that our generation will see the return of Jesus for His church (the Rapture) and we are, even now, seeing many of the events leading up to that time (Matt. 24.36).
Because of Your Temple …
As I read verse 29, “Because of Your temple at Jerusalem, kings will bring presents to You,” it reminded me of part of Solomon’s prayer in 1 Kings 8.60-61, “that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God; there is no other. Let your heart therefore be loyal to the LORD our God, to walk in His statutes and keep His commandments, as at this day.”
The “presents” in Psalm 68 represent giving honor to the King, in this case the “King of kings,” Jesus Christ. Today we are the temple in which the Spirit of God dwells. Just as the magnificence of Solomon’s Temple was to cause people to see the awesome God for whom it was built, so today, others should see and give honor to our King because of our lives.
For His Glory
Here is, as John MacArthur puts it, “the climactic and most dramatic sign in this Gospel.” One of my favorite verses in this passage is verse 4 when Jesus said,
“… This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”
How does God want to use our sicknesses and infirmities today? Even though He does not always heal us or raise the dead, at least not in this life, He still intends it for His glory. And He has promised that His glory and our good are connected (Rom. 8.28-29)!
This post may contain affiliate links, but I only recommend books and resources that I believe are theologically sound and beneficial to the reader. Thank you for supporting this blog and ministry by supporting my links!
“Bible in a Year” posts have been edited and updated from previous posts.