Google+ 05/23/13 Picture Them as Footstools!

Acts 2:29-36

 

“Dear brothers, think about this! You can be sure that the patriarch David wasn’t referring to himself,

For he died and was buried, and his tomb is still here among us.

But he was a prophet, and he knew God had promised with an oath

That one of David’s own descendants would sit on his throne.

David was looking into the future and speaking of the Messiah’s resurrection.

He was saying that God would not leave him among the dead or allow his body to rot in the grave.

“God raised Jesus from the dead, and we are all witnesses of this.

Now he is exalted to the place of highest honor in heaven, at God’s right hand.

And the Father, as he had promised, gave him the Holy Spirit to pour out upon us,

Just as you see and hear today.

For David himself never ascended into heaven, yet he said, ‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit in the place of honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies,
 Making them a footstool under your feet.”’

 “So let everyone in Israel know for certain that God has made this Jesus,

Whom you crucified, to be both Lord and Messiah!” 

 

As we continue with part four of our six-part devotion from Acts 2, Peter is explaining how Jesus is set apart from every other man that has walked the earth.  Understand that everyone listening to Peter on the day of Pentecost would have been familiar with the story of David.  The Bible clearly follows the lineage of David and, of course, Jesus was from the house of David.  The miraculous change in King David, from being the consummate sinner that he was to being labeled "a man after God's own heart,"  was a story that most Jewish families could recite by memory.  Peter wanted to make sure that people did not misunderstand what David had said in the Old Testament.  David was not referring to himself.  Peter pointed out that there was no "empty-tomb" experience with David.  He was buried and was still in the tomb.  He did not rise from the dead.  That unique position belonged only to the Son of God.  In recounting what David said, Peter emphasizes that not only did God raise Jesus from the dead as He promised, God also gave Jesus the Holy Spirit to pour out on all believers.  The final point is that even though David was not resurrected, he lives with Jesus forever.  There is a foreshadowing in our Scripture lesson today that David points out.  God will protect us and we can dwell with Him until our enemies are humbled and made footstools.  This occurs at the end of times as described in Revelation.  I am going to say something that most of us think, but never really embrace.  If you are a Christian, living daily for Christ, you have many enemies.  Jesus was serious when He told all of us to pray for our enemies.  I have had to really work on this aspect of my prayer life!  After over fifty years, I have figured it out!!!  Our Scripture passage today shows us how to make this possible.  Our enemies are eventually going to be our footstools.  God is going to humble them.  We are freed from that judgmental burden in our life.  As a result, we are free to pray for them.  The Holy Spirit is key to any change that might occur with our enemies.  The reason they are our enemies is because the Holy Spirit does not dwell within them.  As a minister of the gospel, I am attacked by my enemies daily.  Many of those attacks come from inside churches!  I have often struggled with this fact and even tried to change it.  That is why the only thing God permits us to do is pray for them.  Left to our own devices, we would be vengeful, vindictive, and vicious.  We are surrounded everyday by enemies who are,  because they lack God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.   Peter finishes today by reminding all of Israel about who crucified Jesus.  This is the second time during his sermon that he has pointed out this fact.  I am sure it was not a popular point of view from the crowd's perspective!  Peter wants all of us to repent, turn away from sin, and be filled with the Holy Spirit.  Today, if you have trouble praying for your enemies, picture them as footstools, humbled by God.  I promise it will help!!!