Boldness to Stand
Category : General
29 And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,
This is reminiscent of Hezekiah’s prayer (2 Kings 19:14; Isaiah 37:14 and 17.)) in which he spread the insulting letter of Sennacherib before the Lord in the temple, pleading with God “to see and hear the words of Sennacherib.”
Recognizing in the threatening of the Sanhedrim a declaration of war by the combined powers of the world against their infant cause, they seek not enthusiastically to hide from themselves its critical position, but calmly ask the Lord of heaven and earth to “look upon their threatening. The praying saints did not propose any solution, leaving the matter wholly in the hands of the Lord; but their petition was concerned with their own basic need of power to “speak the word with boldness.”
It is noted and commented on that they do very well extend that unto themselves which they cited concerning Christ; because He will not, be separated from the gospel; or what trouble so ever befall His members; He applied that to His own person. And they crave at God’s hands that He will beat down the cruelty of the adversaries; yet not so much for their own sake that they may live quietly and without vexation, but that they may have liberty to preach the gospel in all places. Neither was it for them to desire a life which they might spend idly, having forsaken their calling. For they add, “Grant unto thy servants, O Lord, that they may speak boldly.” And by the way we must note this speech, that the Lord would behold their threatening. For seeing it belongs properly to Him to resist the proud, and to throw down their lofty looks; the more proudly they brag and boast, the more do they undoubtedly provoke God to be displeased with them, and it is not to be doubted but that God, being offended with such indignity and cruelty, will redress the same.
The words are parts of the Church’s prayer on the occasion of its first collision with the civil power. The incident is recorded at full length because it is the first of a long and bloody series, in order that succeeding generations might learn their true weapon and their sure defense. It is well worthy of notice in this first great public prayer of the Church, how the Spirit of their Master had sunk into the disciples’ hearts. No fire from heaven is called down on the guilty heads of the enemies of Christ, who would stamp out His struggling Church; only for themselves they pray for bravery and constancy. Prayer is the right answer to the world’s hostility, and they who only ask for courage to stand by their confession will never ask in vain.
Wherefore let the cruelty and reproaches of our enemies rather stir up in us a desire to pray, than any whit discourage us from going forward in the course of our office. And just as the apostles were remembering two very important things: (a) The God they served was all-powerful. (b) All human rebellion is futile. In the end, God always wins, and in the end, His purposes are always fulfilled, it would do us well to remember that as well.
Have a great and God filled day!