Wednesday, August 27, 2008
God Has Always Been Saving His People
I have been in church since I was in diapers and over all these years I have never understood why in the world Stephen gave such a reply to a question that is so simple. Isn’t this a simple yes or no answer kind of question?
Then the High Priest asked him, "Are these accusations true?" Acts 7:1
But instead Stephen begins a lengthy speech and then we have Acts chapter 7. What’s the deal, why did Stephen give us Acts chapter 7?
God, the original prophet, spoke to Abram about what was going to happen to him and his descendants. God told him that he would become a great nation, that his descendants would be slaves for four hundred years and that God would punish that country that had held them captive (verse 2-7).
As the story unfolds we see a picture of the Messiah in Joseph, his brothers rejected him but later he saved them and the rest of his family during the famine when Egypt was the only place to get food (verse 9-14).
Then came Moses as yet another picture of the coming Messiah. Moses was to save his people from the four hundred years of slavery that God had predicted. At first he is rejected just like Joseph was, but later he became the savior, ruler and judge for God’s people (verse 30-40).
Then Stephen makes his point while completely ignoring the original question. God’s people had rejected Him over and over, just look at how poorly the people behaved toward God right after he showed Himself to be so awesome (verse 41-43). Now God’s people had rejected the true Savior and Messiah (verse 52).
Next Stephen goes on to confirm who Jesus is:
And he told them, "Look, I see the heavens opened and Jesus the Messiah standing beside God, at his right hand!" Acts 7:56
God has been in the saving business all this time, I should be more serious about the business of helping my friends and neighbors find the Messiah.
Lord, help me to see the importance of working for you in your most important work of saving man.