by Edwin Crozier
Paul makes a subtle but profoundly powerful argument in his sermon at Antioch of Pisidia (Acts 13:16-41). The people, Paul explains, asked for a king (Acts 13:21). So God gave them Saul the son of Kish.
As far as the worldly-minded would be concerned, Saul was a pretty good king. The Benjamites still honored him. After all, why do you think Paul was originally named Saul? And don’t forget, Saul didn’t take the kingship to himself, God gave it to him. Yet, God removed Saul and gave the kingship to David (Acts 13:22).
Why is Paul even reminding his audience of this change of kings? Because Paul is expressing to them another change (Acts 13:23). The change of moving from the Law to the Faith. The change in moving from Moses to Jesus. The change of kings from David to Jesus.
You can imagine that objections the Jews would make. Why would God give the Law if He was just planning on removing it? Paul’s essential answer is to recognize this is how God has always worked. He works in stages. Just because God gave a king didn’t mean God wouldn’t replace the king. Actually, it means God is the only one who really can replace the king. In like manner, some might object to removing Moses and the Law from the place of authority it had for the Jews. But just because God gave the Law didn’t mean He couldn’t change it. In fact, because He gave it, He is the only one who can. God gave Saul, but removed Him and replaced him with David. God gave the Law, but removed it and replaced it with the Faith and the Gospel.
Praise the Lord!