Sunday, 15 January 2023
“Therefore He also says in another Psalm:
‘You will not allow Your Holy One to see corruption.’ Acts 13:35
Paul is quoting Scripture to the synagogue in Antioch of Pisidia. He just said to them that God raised Jesus from the dead, no more to see corruption.r This was considered certain because, as he cited from Scripture, it says, “I will give you the sure mercies of David.” With that, he now continues with another citation of Scripture, introducing his thought with, “Therefore He also says in another Psalm.”
The word translated as “Therefore” signifies “on this account” or “because.” In other words, because the Lord promised the Messiah that He would receive the sure mercies of David, there must be a natural result of that, even if He was to first be crucified. And so, to firmly establish this, he repeats the thought concerning what will transpire after His crucifixion, saying, ‘You will not allow Your Holy One to see corruption.”
Though the meaning is the same, the Greek literally reads, “You will not give Your Holy One to see corruption.” This is a citation from Psalm 16 –
“I have set the Lord always before me;
Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices;
My flesh also will rest in hope.
10 For You will not leave my soul in Sheol,
Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
11 You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:8-11
Paul cites a portion of the same words that Peter cited in Acts 2. After that, Peter more fully explained those words. The same will be true with Paul in the verses to come. They both clearly explain how what they cited is relevant to the surrounding argument.
Life application: If you go back and read the comparable verses in Acts 2 and the words now in Acts 13, you will also notice, as stated above, that both Peter and Paul do not merely cite Scripture and expect those who hear it to know what they are saying, but they fully explain what they have cited.
Some verses seem obvious in their meaning, and some have become so cliché through use that we think of them as actually applying to our circumstances at any given time. However, this is problematic because the surrounding context of what is said in those verses has nothing to do with what is the supposed intent when they are cited to us. Thus, a pretext is the result.
We must be very careful when citing Scripture to ensure the context is applicable, or that we can fully explain why what is cited logically pertains to our surrounding discourse. If we cannot do this, then our citing of those words is inappropriate.
As a simple example of this, consider 1 Corinthians 2:9 –
“But as it is written:
‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’”
It is as common as beans in a taco to cite this when talking about our future state in heaven. And yet, by going back and reading the surrounding context, we find that these words have nothing to do with that. Rather, they deal with the wisdom of God being displayed in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Nobody could have conceived what God would do in Christ’s coming, nor could they have conceived of the glory that it conferred upon us because of what He has done. Be sure that context is maintained at all times. In so doing, you will be in the sweet spot concerning what you are saying.
Lord God, help us to be responsible in our citing of Scripture so that those around us will have a right understanding of what is being communicated by You. May we never coopt verses that sound appealing to then make unfounded claims from Your word. This can edify no one. So, help us to be careful in dealing with Your precious and sacred word. Amen.