Sunday, February 26, 2012

Acts 7:39-43

Summary retelling of Acts 7: 39-43:

Stephen reminds the gathered Sanhedrin that while on the exodus out of Egypt the Hebrew people turned against Moses and turned to Aaron and begged him to make a god to go before them that they could see.  The denounced ever having experienced Moses – and more importantly they denounced seeing God work through Moses.  So God saw that their heart was really not turned to Him and He let them follow the desires of their own hearts.

Thoughts for Today:
First Thought:
My first thought is likely going to be a continual “first thought” that is applicable for every day until we finish Acts 7:50.  So I’m going to keep it as a running commentary until we get to verse 50.

Stephen continues to demonstrate mastery over his religious heritage. 

  • Day one we see that Stephen was familiar enough with Abraham. 
  • Day two we see that Stephen is familiar enough with Joseph.
  • Day three we see Stephen is familiar with Moses’ birth and the persecution of the Hebrew people in Egypt.
  • Day four we hear how Moses interacts with his people and the initial failure he has.
  • Day five we hear the burning bush incident retold and God’s calling for Moses.
  • Day six we hear a brief summary of the exodus story and how Moses did miraculous things with the people in the wilderness
  • Day seven we hear about the Golden calf incident and the continued rebellion of the Hebrew people

Why is it important to realize that Stephen knows his religious history?  What does knowing the religious history allow Stephen to accomplish?  Do you know the religious history of the Old and New Testaments?  If yes, how can/do you use it?  If no, how can you learn it?

Second Thought:
Today we hear about the Hebrew people and their desire to worship something that they can touch and feel.  They don’t want a relationship with an unknown God – in spite of the fact that they have witnessed the miracles of the plagues, the column of fire before them, the destruction of the Egyptian army in the Red Sea, etc.  They want a god they can put in a box and quantify.

How do we do the same thing?  Why is it easier to worship things like our clothes, our friends, our technology, our cars, etc?

Third Thought:
The people denied Moses and the works of God that they saw through Moses.  They outright lied and claimed to be willing to ignore the witness of His power that God had called them to see.

Again, how do we see this in the world?  Are there times where the presence of God is so obvious to you but there are people in the world that just can’t see Him?  Are there times where you are the blind one and other people claim to be able to see God’s presence?

Fourth Thought:
God abandoned the people over to their ways.  That doesn’t mean that God was not waiting for them to repent.  It simply means that God did not force them to obey and love Him.  He was willing to give them choice, even if it meant watching them walk completely away from Him forever.

Does it scare you that God loves you so much that He is willing to risk watching you turn your back on Him forever?  Does it scare you just how many people do turn their back on Him forever?

Passage for Tomorrow: Acts 7:44-46
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