Stephen’s Defense - The Rejection of Moses

Text: Acts 7:20-41

I.         Stephen moves to the era of Moses in his recounting of Israel’s history

            A.        Moses is a particularly important figure in the Jewish mind as he was the founder of their religion

II.        Even in Moses’ birth, God found him to be lovely in His sight

            A.        Yet at three months, his parents put him out, exposed the elements

            B.        He was rescued by the daughter of Pharaoh and raised as her own son

            C.        He was taught all the learning of Egypt and had become a great man

III.       Yet, at the age of forty, he returned to the people who gave him birth

            A.        He saw one being unjustly beaten and he intervened.

            B.        In vengeance he killed the Egyptian

            C.        He thought he was doing his brethren a favor and thought that his people would understand that God would use him to grant them deliverance.

                        1.         But they did not understand.

                        2.         The next day he found two Israelites fighting and he tried to get them to settle their differences

                        3.         But the one who was beating the other pushed Moses away and asked who made him a judge

                        4.         He asked if Moses planned to kill him like he did the Egyptian

                                    a.         The man did not see Moses as a deliverer, but one who killed the strong

                                    b.         The man sympathized with the Egyptian, and not the plight of his fellow slaves

            D.        Moses realized that word had gotten out about what he had done

                        1.         He had killed an Egyptian and so would be hunted as a murderer

                        2.         He fled to Midian where he married and had two sons

                                    a.         Note: Even Moses’ wife was not from Israel.

IV.      At the age of eighty, Moses saw a burning bush that was not consumed

            A.        When he investigated, God called out to him and told him he was chosen to deliver Israel.

            B.        The very man Israel had rejected was chosen by God to save them.

            C.        He lead the Israelites out of Egypt with many signs and wonders. For forty years he lead them through the wilderness.

                        1.         Don’t forget that this same Moses said that God would raise up another prophet like himself from among Israel.

            D.        Moses received the laws of God that were passed on to the Israelites of Stephen’s day.

                        1.         Laws to which their ancestors refused to obey.

                        2.         From a man they degraded, yearning to return to Egypt

                        3.         Men who asked Aaron to make idols for them and they worshiped these idols.

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