And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold…
This congregation may be held up as a model in three things.
I. PUNCTUALITY OF ATTENDANCE. "Now therefore are we all here."
1. All were present. No absentees.
2. All were present in proper time. They were waiting for Peter, and not Peter for them. No coming in during service, and disturbing both preacher and hearers.
II. DEVOUTNESS OF SPIRIT. "Before God." Realised God's presence. This would inspire —
1. Humility (Exodus 3:2-6; 1 Samuel 16:7; Genesis 18:27; Isaiah 6:5; Job 42:5, 6).
2. Sincerity. Here, if anywhere, there should be truth (Isaiah 57:15; Psalm 51:6). Hypocrisy may walk the earth invisible to men, but not to God.
3. High expectation (Matthew 18:20). Here the Father is present (Romans 8:32). Here the Son is present (John 6:48-53; Matthew 28:26). Here the Holy Ghost is present (John 6:63; John 16:15). We should attend upon ordinances with diligence, preparation, and prayer. Come to God's house fresh from the company of the gay and the thoughtless, and with no real seriousness of spirit, and is it any wonder if you are not benefited.
III. PRACTICALNESS OF PURPOSE. "The more part knew not wherefore they had come together" (Acts 19:32). Not so here. Had a clear, settled, well-understood purpose.
1. To hear. Sense of God's personal interest and love (Romans 10:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:21; John 13:17).
2. To hear what was commanded of God. Looked above the messenger to Him that had sent him. Recognised the Divine authority of the truth. Without this there can be no real good (Exodus 3:13; Deuteronomy 5:27; Hebrews 4:2).
3. To hear all that was commanded of God. Law and gospel. The whole counsel of God. There should be fearless honesty both in speaking and hearing.
(William Forsyth, A. M.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,