Scripture Reading:  Acts 9:32-43

“Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, hearing that Peter was there, sent two men to him, urging him, ‘Please come to us without delay.’” (Acts 9:38)

One of the most comforting doctrines of Scripture is the doctrine of the sovereignty of God.  God is in control;  He is in charge of all things.  His sovereign control is known as His providence.  He rules and over-rules all things in order to accomplish His eternal purposes.

Our text today is an illustration of the providence of God.  God sovereignly led Peter to Lydda where He used Peter in the healing of a man named Aeneas (vs. 32-35).  As a result of this healing, many people turned to the Lord.

Lydda was near Joppa.  A devoted follower of Christ named Tabitha, who was also known as Dorcas, lived in Joppa.  Tabitha became ill and died.  The disciples in Joppa knew Peter was nearby and thus they summoned for him:  “Please come to us without delay.”  Peter answered their call.  When he arrived and saw what had happened, he “knelt down and prayed; and turning to the body he said, ‘Tabitha, arise,’ and she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up” (v. 40).  As was the case in Lydda, many believed in Joppa as a result of this miracle (v. 42).

After Tabitha was raised form the dead, Peter stayed in Joppa for many days.  He lived in the home of Simon, a tanner (v. 43).  God providentially led Peter from Lydda to Joppa.  He used Peter to accomplish His purpose of bringing many to Christ.  But more was about to come.  God placed Peter in Joppa to receive a vision that would change the course of sacred history.  Through Peter’s vision, God opened the message of the gospel to the Gentiles.

The only way we can fully believe Romans 8:28 is when we grasp the concept of the providence of God:  “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.”  God rules and over-rules every event that takes place in our lives.  We may not understand the why or the what, but we can believe that God has an ultimate purpose in mind that will be for His glory and for our good.

Lord God, I bow before Your sovereign hand.  I am so thankful that You are all powerful and all wise.  I know that You are God and that You are good.  You always know and do what is best for me.  I am so thankful for Your providential care over my life.


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