April 14, 2024


Acts 13:17-25 - 17The God of this people Israel chose our fathers and made the people great during their stay in the land of Egypt, and with uplifted arm he led them out of it. 18And for about forty years he put up with them in the wilderness. 19And after destroying seven nations in the land of Canaan, he gave them their land as an inheritance. 20All this took about 450 years. And after that he gave them judges until Samuel the prophet. 21Then they asked for a king, and God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. 22And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, 'I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.' 23Of this man's offspring God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, as he promised. 24Before his coming, John had proclaimed a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. 25And as John was finishing his course, he said, 'What do you'


In Acts 13:17-25, Paul gives a concise overview of Israel's history, highlighting how God has been at work throughout to bring about His plan of redemption. He begins by recounting how God chose the patriarchs and made Israel into a great nation during their time in Egypt. With His mighty power, God delivered them from slavery and led them through the wilderness for forty years, putting up with their disobedience and lack of faith. After bringing them into the Promised Land of Canaan and destroying seven nations before them, God gave the Israelites the land as their inheritance. For about 450 years, God provided judges to lead them, until the time of Samuel the prophet. But the people demanded a king, so God gave them Saul from the tribe of Benjamin, who reigned for forty years. When Saul was rejected due to his disobedience, God raised up David to be king, a man after His own heart who would fulfill His will. Paul declares that from David's descendants, as promised, God brought to Israel the Savior, Jesus. But before Jesus began His ministry, John the Baptist came preaching a baptism of repentance to prepare the people. As John's ministry was ending, he made it clear that he himself was not the Messiah, but he was pointing the way to the One who was to come.


This passage from Acts 13 provides a powerful reminder of how God has been sovereignly orchestrating history to accomplish His purposes and bring salvation to mankind. Throughout the ups and downs of Israel's journey, from the time of the patriarchs, to the Exodus from Egypt, to the wilderness wanderings, to the period of the judges and kings, God was steadily moving things forward according to His plan. What's amazing is that Israel's story is really our story. We too are prone to disobedience, ingratitude and turning from God to pursue our own paths. Yet God remains faithful and continues His redemptive work in spite of our failures. Israel demanded a king because they wanted to be like the other nations around them. But God had a better plan - to send the true King, Jesus Christ, to establish an eternal kingdom that would bless all peoples. God's unfolding plan of salvation culminated in Jesus, the Savior who was promised throughout the Old Testament. But God in His providence also sent a forerunner, John the Baptist, to prepare the way for the Messiah. John's message of repentance was vital, for the people needed to have humble and contrite hearts to be ready to receive their Savior. As we reflect on the sweeping history covered in this passage, we should be filled with awe and wonder at our God who is sovereign over all things and is working all things together for His glory and our good. No matter what twists and turns our lives may take, we can trust that God is in control and that Christ is the fulfillment of all His promises. Just as Israel's history prepared the way for Jesus' first coming, we now find ourselves living between Christ's first and second comings, called to live faithfully as we await His return. May we learn from the examples both good and bad in Israel's history, and keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.


Sovereign Lord, we marvel at Your wisdom and power in ordering the events of history to bring about Your eternal purposes. Thank You for the vivid reminders in Your Word of how You have always been at work, keeping Your promises and moving all things forward to the glorious culmination in Christ. Forgive us for the times we have doubted Your goodness or questioned Your plans. Help us to learn from the mistakes and successes of those who have gone before us. May we, like David, be men and women after Your own heart, who desire to do Your will. Thank You for sending Jesus to be the Savior we so desperately need. We praise You that in Him, all Your promises find their ultimate fulfillment. Give us hearts that are ready and eager to embrace Him. As we await Christ's return, enable us by Your Spirit to live faithfully and joyfully, shining as lights in this dark world. Keep us diligent in prayer and in Your Word, and use us to prepare the way for Jesus to be received in many hearts. We pray this in the name of Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of history. Amen.

Generated Image(s)

Behold God's sovereign hand, Guiding Israel's journey grand - From Egypt's chains to Canaan's land, To David's reign, and Christ's command.

Behold God's sovereign hand,
Guiding Israel's journey grand -
From Egypt's chains to Canaan's land,
To David's reign, and Christ's command.

This image was generated by AI from the devotion text.