Stephen’s Sermon–Moses’ Mandate From God

Unfortunately, the epitaph of many a man is well expressed in the words “Died, age 26; buried, age 64.” If you stop learning and growing today, you stop ministering tomorrow. (Dr Howard G. Hendricks - A Mandate For Mentoring). … More

Mandate
In these verses we can see what Moses gave up. He actually gave up a kingdom, in order to lead his people out into the desert on a great adventure for God. This great man is not the man who, like the Jews, is thrilled about the past and jealous of his privileges; he is the man who is ready to answer God’s summons and leave the comfort and the ease he might have had.
  1. Moses had a burden for Israel (vv. 30-34). (a) He was looking (vv. 30-31). The burning bush symbolized persecution. (b) He was listening (vv. 32-34). Moses had to learn his unfitness for the task.
  2. Moses had a mandate from God (vv. 35-36). (a) He was sent to save them (v. 35). The one spurned was sent to be ruler and deliverer. (b) He was sent to separate them (v. 36). Egypt was judged and Israel was set apart.
  3. Moses delivered a message to Israel (vv. 37-38). (a) He gave them a message about their Messiah (v. 37). Moses and Jesus compared. (b) He gave them a message about God’s Mandate (v. 38). Written with the finger of God.
  4. Israel disobeyed God’s message (vv. 39-43).(a) They rebelled against the leadership (vv. 39-40). Scorned the one who brought salvation. (b) They rebelled against the law (vv. 41-43). Disobeyed the Scriptures.
It is pointed out how Moses, who was to be the minister of holiness, first had to learn how personally unfit he was for the task. Moses had to learn what it meant to stand as a sinner in the presence of a thrice-holy God who was as a flaming fire (vv. 30-33). All that Israel gained by their blind and wicked rejection of Moses was further bondage. The parallel between Moses and Jesus is now brought into focus by Stephen (v. 37).

Application

Lord, help me to see some of the idols that people turn to today instead of following what the Scriptures teach. I must remember that anything that comes between the Lord and me is an idol. Lord, I want to serve you more than anything this world has to offer.

Acts 7:30-43 (English Standard Version)

"Now when forty years had passed, an angel appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, in a flame of fire in a bush. When Moses saw it, he was amazed at the sight, and as he drew near to look, there came the voice of the Lord: 'I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob.' And Moses trembled and did not dare to look. Then the Lord said to him, 'Take off the sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and have heard their groaning, and I have come down to deliver them. And now come, I will send you to Egypt.' "This Moses, whom they rejected, saying, 'Who made you a ruler and a judge?'--this man God sent as both ruler and redeemer by the hand of the angel who appeared to him in the bush. This man led them out, performing wonders and signs in Egypt and at the Red Sea and in the wilderness for forty years. This is the Moses who said to the Israelites, 'God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers.' This is the one who was in the congregation in the wilderness with the angel who spoke to him at Mount Sinai, and with our fathers. He received living oracles to give to us. Our fathers refused to obey him, but thrust him aside, and in their hearts they turned to Egypt, saying to Aaron, 'Make for us gods who will go before us. As for this Moses who led us out from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.' And they made a calf in those days, and offered a sacrifice to the idol and were rejoicing in the works of their hands. But God turned away and gave them over to worship the host of heaven, as it is written in the book of the prophets: "'Did you bring to me slain beasts and sacrifices, during the forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel? You took up the tent of Moloch and the star of your god Rephan, the images that you made to worship; and I will send you into exile beyond Babylon."'

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