by Jeffrey W. Hamilton

Text: Acts 7:20-39

 

I.         David had asked for some provisions for his men after having protected Nabal’s herds - I Samuel 25:5-8

            A.        But Nabal’s response was “Who is David?” - I Samuel 25:10-11

            B.        Nabal shows he did know who David was, but he thought he wasn’t worth recognizing.

            C.        But it was God who had David anointed to be the next king. Nabal might not have remembered that critical fact, but his wife did - I Samuel 25:30-31

II.        God’s messengers get this same response

            A.        Prophets have had to deal with rejection

                        1.         They will fight against you - Jeremiah 1:16-19

                        2.         They will not listen to you - Ezekiel 3:4-9

            B.        People don’t like being told that the things they might do are wrong

                        1.         Speak with all authority - Titus 2:15

                        2.         Be an example - I Timothy 4:12

            C.        “What right do you have to tell us what to do?”

                        1.         “Who made you a judge?”

                        2.         God’s messengers have the authority of God behind them and not their own.

III.       No man is perfect

            A.        We all sin - Romans 3:23

            B.        Moses committed murder - Exodus 2:11-12

            C.        He thought he escaped detection until the next day - Exodus 2:12-14

                        1.         Moses thought it was his duty to lead the Israelites, since he was a prince in Egypt - Acts 7:22-25

                        2.         But his fellow Israelites rejected his authority - Acts 7:26-28

            D.        He ran and went from being the son of Pharaoh’s daughter to a shepherd in the wilderness - Exodus 2:15; 3:1

            E.        Ironically, forty years later God sends Moses back to lead Israel out bondage - Exodus 3:10

                        1.         Moses is still hurting from the rejection - Exodus 3:11

                        2.         But this time he will not be going by his own authority, but the Lord’s - Exodus 3:12-14

                        3.         God also gave Moses miracles to prove he was from God - Exodus 4:1-5

            F.        Stephen notes the irony years later - Acts 7:35-36

                        1.         He also notes a prophecy - Acts 7:37

                        2.         It comes from Deuteronomy 18:15,18-19

IV.      But God is perfect

            A.        The Son of God left glory to come and dwell among His creation - John 1:14

            B.        But the Creator’s own creation rejected him - John 1:10-11

                        1.         They did not want him to rule over them - Luke 19:12,14

                        2.         They questioned his authority - Matthew 21:23

            C.        He was sent from God - John 5:36-37

            D.        He did miracles. More than any prophet before him; yet, they demanded more - Matthew 12:38; 16:1

            E.        And despite this, Jesus led people out of the bondage of sin - John 1:12-13

V.        Rejection doesn’t change the message or the urgency to respond

            A.        You can make the messenger’s duty easy or rough, but you can’t stop the message

            B.        Salvation awaits you this day, but it means you have to give up your sins

            C.        It means no longer doing things your own way - James 4:4-10

            D.        Will you come and be exalted by God?

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