Select Page
Read Introduction to Acts

 

17 The God of this people Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an uplifted arm He brought them out of it. 18 Now for a time of about forty years He put up with their ways in the wilderness. 19 And when He had destroyed seven nations in Canaan, He distributed their land to them by allotment. 20 “He gave them judges for about four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet. 21 And afterward they asked for a king; so God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. 22 And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.

 

Verses 16b-25 sketch Old Testament history that emphasizes God’s providence over Israel. Then Paul turned his speech to center on God’s faithfulness to His promises fulfilled in Christ (Acts 13:26-37). Finally, Paul issued an invitation to both the Jews and Gentiles in the audience to accept God’s promise fulfilled in Christ (Acts 13:38-41). Paul addressed Gentiles in Acts 13:16 by “you who fear God.” He also referred to them in Acts 13:26.

13:17

The God of this people Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an uplifted arm He brought them out of it.

Paul reminded his Jewish listeners that God chose Israel and made them into the people they became by delivering them from Egypt. He proclaimed the God of the nation Israel.

13:18

Now for a time of about forty years He put up with their ways in the wilderness.

God was with Israel even during their 40 years of rebellion in the wilderness.

13:19

And when He had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, He distributed their land to them by allotment.

Continuing to show how God was with Israel throughout their history, Paul reminded the synagogue listeners that it was God who destroyed the seven nations on their road to the Promised Land. When they arrived there, He distributed the nation by allotment.

13:20

“After that He gave them judges for about four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet.

For 450 years, God gave the nation judges until the anointing of prophet Samuel. The number here combines the years spent in Egypt, plus the years of wandering (40 years) and the conquest of 10 years.

The reference to the prophet Samuel is because Israel asked him for a king (1 Sa 8:6).

13:21

And afterward they asked for a king; so God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years.

After Israel requested a king during the period of the judges, God gave the nation King Saul, a Benjaminite, who reigned for 40 years. Paul was from the same tribe. Samuel anointed him king. The monarch David followed.

13:22

And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.

After God removed King Saul, He replaced him with King David. Clearly, David was a godly king, willing to do all God’s will. The Old Testament allusion is to Psalm 89:20 and 1 Samuel 13:14. It may also refer to Psalm 78:70-72.

Verse 22 concludes Paul’s argument from the history of Israel.

PRINCIPLE:

Expository preaching is the mandate for the local church.

APPLICATION:

As Paul preached from the Bible, he set an example of how preaching should be done in the twenty-first century. He took His text and message straight out of Scripture. We live in a day of shallow Christianity. We have sermonettes for Christianettes. Much of today’s preaching focuses on psychology and experience without content. The church has turned into an entertainment-focused rather than a teaching-focused ministry. There is a dearth of exposition in churches. No wonder we have shallow Christians today who do not know how to defend Christianity or live the Christian life (Amos 8:11). An uncertain message births Christians who are not confident of their faith.

Jesus used the expository method (Lu 4:18-19, 43). Paul charged Timothy to “preach the word” (2 Tim 4:2). All three books of the Bible explicitly written to pastors assign them to “teach” and to communicate “doctrine” (1 and 2 Timothy and Titus). Leaders who do this must be rewarded with “double honor” (1 Tim 5:17).

Share