September 26, 2022 – Monday
Acts 4:24 NIV
24 When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them
Acts 4:24 ESV
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
Acts 4:24 BLB
24 And having heard, they lifted up their voice with one accord to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, You made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them
Acts 4:24 YLT
24 and they having heard, with one accord did lift up the voice unto God, and said, ‘Lord, thou art God, who didst make the heaven, and the earth, and the sea, and all that are in them
A few questions I want to address before getting to the core question on sovereignty (more on that later). First who was it that heard this and raised their voices together in prayer to God? And of course, what was it that they heard? Now if you had been in church at Calvary Chapel of Dayton on Sunday September 25th, you would know the answers to both questions as Pastor Luke Stevens preached on this verse and more. He preached on the preceding verses as well on the prior Sunday. You may listen to both here if you wish.
It turns out Peter and John had been in jail overnight because the rulers, elders, and scribes did not know what to do about them as a man who had been crippled from birth was healed in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth (3:6) at the entrance to the temple courts. The man then went with them into the temple courts. Word spread rapidly and Peter and John preached on the gospel of Jesus and His resurrection. For this they were jailed.
The next day they asked them how they had healed the man. Peter filled with the Holy Spirit replied, 10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. 11 This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” You know they hated this answer so 18 Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.
Then came the reply from both Peter and John that is famous to this day, 19 Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! 20 As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard. This is what Peter and John reported to their friends and fellow believers which led to our verse of the day, 24 When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. (emphasis added)
Notice the NIV, the ESV, and the BLB (Berean Literal Bible) all (among others) have Sovereign Lord, while Young’s Literal Translation (and others) has Lord, thou art God. To understand the why of the differences you will find here and here we have to go to the Greek word being translated. It is despotes: lord, master according to Strong’s Concordance, G1203. This is where we get the word despot, which is generally defined as a ruler or other person who holds absolute power, typically one who exercises it in a cruel or oppressive way. That is not what is intended in the Greek. Instead, what we have at HELPS Word-studies, is properly, an authority figure (“master”) who exercises complete jurisdiction (wields unrestricted power). Or additionally, implies someone exercising “unrestricted power and absolute domination, confessing no limitations or restraints” (R. Trench, 96).
To me the definition, when applied to God, may be summed up as sovereign as He does have complete and unrestricted power and absolute domination over all of creation, His creation. I know I took a while to get to the point, but wanted to be clear that no matter what version of the Bible we are using, this verse directly addresses God’s sovereignty.
Bottom Line: We need to always be aware God is truly sovereign over all of creation and He sets the rules, not us.
Prayer: Almighty God, In the midst of Your sovereignty, You grant us great mercy and incredible loving kindness through Your Son. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton