24 And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, 25 who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit,
“ ‘Why did the Gentiles rage,
and the peoples plot in vain?
26 The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers were gathered together,
against the Lord and against his Anointed’—
27 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. 29 And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, 30 while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” (Acts 4: 24-30)
Notice in the community’s prayer the reference to the threat of enemies is given in the form of a scriptural proof. The Scripture is in the exact rendering of Ps 2:1–2 from the Septuagint and is presented as a prophecy, spoken by God through David under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Most likely originally relating to God’s triumph over Israel’s enemies through the anointed king, the Christians came to see it as in a real sense prophetic of Christ.
The main point is this: All the plotting against God’s anointed is in vain because God has already predetermined the outcome. In the paradox of human freedom and divine sovereignty, despite all the raging of humanity, God’s purposes prevail. They did so in Christ, they did so with the apostles before the Sanhedrin and they continued to do so throughout the book of Acts.
This is something for us to keep in mind when times of trouble for Christians come. We know how the story ends and it ends with triumph. Here is the thing to keep in mind; as we remain faithful to proclaim the Lord in our lives and in our words, he will win. He won in the life of the lame man, he won in the hundreds more who came to faith by hearing the word preached, following the miracle and he won in the hearts of the believers.
Just because we don’t immediately see the triumph, doesn’t mean it isn’t coming. So pray with me with confidence today to the Lord who ultimately wins.
Sovereign Lord, the systems of this world have no chance against you and your kingdom. Thank you that because of Christ, all the plans against your purposes are in vain. Grant me boldness to continue to speak your word. AMEN