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Acts Reading Plan | Week 6 | Day 3
Pause. Breathe in and then very slowly out. Do that three times. This helps your mind become more present. Paul wrote in Galatians 5:1, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Thank God that in Him you are free. Ask Him to teach you through His word how to live in freedom.
Bible Reading: Acts 7:17-43
Read these verses three times slowly.
“As the time drew near for God to fulfill his promise to Abraham, the number of our people in Egypt had greatly increased. Then ‘a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt.’ He dealt treacherously with our people and oppressed our ancestors by forcing them to throw out their newborn babies so that they would die.
“At that time Moses was born, and he was no ordinary child. For three months he was cared for by his family. When he was placed outside, Pharaoh’s daughter took him and brought him up as her own son. Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action.
“When Moses was forty years old, he decided to visit his own people, the Israelites. He saw one of them being mistreated by an Egyptian, so he went to his defense and avenged him by killing the Egyptian. Moses thought that his own people would realize that God was using him to rescue them, but they did not. The next day Moses came upon two Israelites who were fighting. He tried to reconcile them by saying, ‘Men, you are brothers; why do you want to hurt each other?’
“But the man who was mistreating the other pushed Moses aside and said, ‘Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?’ When Moses heard this, he fled to Midian, where he settled as a foreigner and had two sons.
“After forty years had passed, an angel appeared to Moses in the flames of a burning bush in the desert near Mount Sinai. When he saw this, he was amazed at the sight. As he went over to get a closer look, he heard the Lord say: ‘I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.’ Moses trembled with fear and did not dare to look.
“Then the Lord said to him, ‘Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. I have indeed seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their groaning and have come down to set them free. Now come, I will send you back to Egypt.’
“This is the same Moses they had rejected with the words, ‘Who made you ruler and judge?’ He was sent to be their ruler and deliverer by God himself, through the angel who appeared to him in the bush. He led them out of Egypt and performed wonders and signs in Egypt, at the Red Sea and for forty years in the wilderness.
“This is the Moses who told the Israelites, ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your own people.’ He was in the assembly in the wilderness, with the angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our ancestors;and he received living words to pass on to us.
“But our ancestors refused to obey him. Instead, they rejected him and in their hearts turned back to Egypt.They told Aaron, ‘Make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who led us out of Egypt—we don’t know what has happened to him!’ That was the time they made an idol in the form of a calf. They brought sacrifices to it and reveled in what their own hands had made. But God turned away from them and gave them over to the worship of the sun, moon and stars. This agrees with what is written in the book of the prophets:
“‘Did you bring me sacrifices and offerings
forty years in the wilderness, people of Israel?
You have taken up the tabernacle of Molek
and the star of your god Rephan,
the idols you made to worship.
Therefore I will send you into exile’ beyond Babylon.
Reflection & Questions
Today, Stephen continues telling the story of the Jewish people, from Joseph to Moses. Stephen wisely concentrates most of his speech on Moses. As the writer of the Law, Moses was held in high honor among the religious leaders that Stephen is talking to.
There are a couple of interesting points to see in Stephen’s story of Moses.
Firstly, notice that Moses twice went to rescue the people of Israel. The first time, “he decided to visit his own people.” He went by his own will, in his own strength. This ends in him becoming a murderer and running for his life. In complete contrast, the second time he goes, he is sent by God. God tells him, “I have indeed seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their groaning and have come down to set them free. Now come, I will send you back to Egypt.” There’s a big difference between going on a mission in our authority and power, and going in the authority and power of God!
Secondly, see how Stephen reminds the religious leaders what Moses told the Israelites: “God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your own people.” Stephen wants them to see that even Moses was expecting someone else to come. He wasn’t the be all and end all. Who would that prophet be? Jesus, of course. Just as God had heard the groaning of the Israelites in slavery and sent Moses to set them free, God saw that all of humanity was in slavery to sin and sent Jesus to set us free. The Israelites were freed. And now we are freed. Praise God that He cares for us and sets us free!
- In reaching your ONE, are you doing that in your own authority and power, or God’s? How would you know?
Thank God that He set you free, and ask Him to be with you and guide you where He wants you to be on mission today.
You might use this song today to worship Jesus today:
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