Then they asked for a king
Acts 13:16-41 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said,
“Men of Israel, and you who fear God, listen: 17 The God of this people Israel chose our fathers and made the people great during their stay in the land of Egypt, and with an uplifted arm He led them out from it. 18 For a period of about forty years He put up with them in the wilderness. 19 When He had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, He distributed their land as an inheritance—all of which took about 450 years. 20 After these things He gave them judges until Samuel the prophet. 21 Then they asked for a king, and God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. 22 After He had removed him, He raised up David to be their king, concerning whom He also testified and said, ‘I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man after My heart, who will do all My will.’ 23 From the descendants of this man, according to promise, God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, 24 after John had proclaimed, before His coming, a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. 25 And while John was completing his course, he kept saying, ‘What do you suppose that I am? I am not He. But behold, one is coming after me, the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to untie.’
26 “Brothers, sons of Abraham’s family, and those among you who fear God, to us the message of this salvation has been sent. 27 For those who live in Jerusalem, and their rulers, recognizing neither Him nor the declarations of the prophets which are read every Sabbath, fulfilled these by condemning Him. 28 And though they found no grounds for putting Him to death, they asked Pilate that He be executed. 29 When they had carried out everything that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the cross and laid Him in a tomb. 30 But God raised Him from the dead; 31 and for many days He appeared to those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, the very ones who are now His witnesses to the people. 32 And we preach to you the good news of the promise made to the fathers, 33 that God has fulfilled this promise to those of us who are the descendants by raising Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm: ‘You are My Son; today I have fathered You.’ 34 As for the fact that He raised Him from the dead, never again to return to decay, He has spoken in this way: ‘I will give you the holy and faithful mercies of David.’ 35 Therefore, He also says in another Psalm: ‘You will not allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.’ 36 For David, after he had served God’s purpose in his own generation, fell asleep, and was buried among his fathers and underwent decay; 37 but He whom God raised did not undergo decay. 38 Therefore let it be known to you, brothers, that through Him forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, 39 and through Him everyone who believes is freed from all things, from which you could not be freed through the Law of Moses. 40 Therefore, see that the thing spoken of in the Prophets does not come upon you:
41 ‘Look, you scoffers, and be astonished, and perish; For I am accomplishing a work in your days, A work which you will never believe, though someone should describe it to you.’”
In today’s text it says: Then they asked for a king, and God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. After He had removed him, He raised up David to be their king, concerning whom He also testified and said, ‘I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man after My heart, who will do all My will.’ From the descendants of this man, according to promise, God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus. David was a man after the heart of God. Even though his heart was to do the will of God, he still had lapses of yielding to the flesh. In Matthew 26:41, when Jesus was praying before He was arrested, He exhorted the disciples saying: “Keep watching and praying, so that you do not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” The heart, even a heart after God’s heart can be more than weak. In Jeremiah 17:9-10 God says: “The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, To give to each person according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds.” It is possible for our hearts to deceive us. In John 16:1-3 Jesus says: “These things I have spoken to you so that you will not be led into sin. They will ban you from the synagogue, yet an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering a service to God. These things they will do because they have not known the Father nor Me.” There are many today who say and believe they are serving God, but they are deceived by their hearts and their flesh.
So, neither our hearts or our flesh can be fully trusted to lead us. Neither can any other person of flesh. The Israelites asked for a king and God gave them Saul and then David to replace him. Although they were chosen by God, neither one was the right leader for God’s people. God already had a king for His people, the same one who would be their redeemer. Jesus is the King of Kings. In John 16:7-15 Jesus says: “I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I am leaving; for if I do not leave, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And He, when He comes, will convict the world regarding sin, and righteousness, and judgment: regarding sin, because they do not believe in Me; and regarding righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you no longer are going to see Me; and regarding judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them at the present time. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take from Mine and will disclose it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine; this is why I said that He takes from Mine and will disclose it to you.”
We need no other leader or king. We have the King of Kings, our Redeemer living in our hearts. We can trust our hearts, if the King truly resides there. In John 14:18-23 Jesus says: “I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you. After a little while, the world no longer is going to see Me, but you are going to see Me; because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I in you. The one who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and the one who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will reveal Myself to him… If anyone loves Me, he will follow My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our dwelling with him.”
Amen. Thank You heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ, my redeemer and King and precious Holy Spirit my guide. Amen.