It’s All About Redemption (Part 4)
Sermon Title: “It’s All About Redemption (Part 4)”
Sermon Series: Acts: Kingdom Vision 20/20
Text: Acts 7:29-39
Speaker: Pastor Damian Mericka
While the Mission of Jesus is still the banner which unites and guides these Spirit-filled believers, the Vision of how would continue to grow and develop is always evolving forward to look more and more like God’s Kingdom.
Jerusalem -> All Judea -> Samaria -> the End of the Earth (Acts 1:8)
Four Weeks ago, we saw how Stephen was full of four things:
- Holy Spirit
- God’s Grace
- God’s Power
Three Weeks ago, we looked at the beginning of Stephen’s appeal to his Jewish Brethren- their shared patriarch Abraham. God had called Abraham to leave his people and follow Him, becoming a part of His plan to redeem all things. A Covenant unlike any other between God and humanity, this promise was symbolized by circumcision. While it was on the flesh of men, God was always after the heart of all people- male and female, Jew, and Gentile.
Two week ago, Stephen shared the story of Joseph. He was hoping they would see themselves in the role of Joseph’s brothers who were jealous of what God was choosing to do through him. When God’s anointing falls on someone their Jewish history has shown the immediate response is that of Jealousy. However, God had other plans that even included redeeming their Patriarchs.
Last week we saw how despite the fear of Egypt, the faith of a couple led to defying the law and the baby lived and grew into the man Moses. Raised in Pharaoh’s house, Moses refused to ignore the plight of his people and in faith stepped into his anointing in his own strength only to find rejection from both Israel and Egypt. As Moses fled, we see that even rejection does not slow God’s plans in the least.
Going Deeper: 1) We are reminded from last week that Stephen was a man full of what four things? Are these available for all believers or a special few? What was Stephen hoping the Sanhedrin would see in themselves through the story of Israel rejecting Moses?
- “Who am I?” (Acts 7:29)
Rejected by the people of his heritage, Israel, and the people of his adoption, Egypt, we now find Moses in Midian. Moses was 40 years old when he left Egypt, fleeing to Midian which is about 40 miles away from Egypt. It was 40 more years before the Lord would speak to Moses. In this time, he married, raised children, and became a shepherd.
Turn to Exodus 2:15-25.
Rejected as the Deliverer by Israel and Prince by Egypt, Moses arrives to Midian naked of the things that were once his. For the first time in his life he was without purpose. In a sense, Moses with all the success in front of him anyone could desire was now unemployed, homeless, and broke. But he is still Moses.
God would show him those things did not define him. Moses sees abuse happening to Midian (descendants from Abraham’s second wife, Keturah. Genesis 25:2) girls and comes to their aid. This was a daily occurrence which God delivered Reuel’s house from. God is slowly showing Moses what it is to lead; and it begins with the heart not the sword.
- Reuel -> Friend of God (Jethro -> his excellency)
- Zipporah -> Beauty
- Gershom -> Stranger here
- Eliezer -> God helps
While God is with Moses in Midian, He is also with His people in Egypt as they cry out because of their misery. It is important to note that even when disobedience and rejection of God’s Word is chosen by His children, God’s heart breaks and compassion overflows! See Hosea 11:7-11.
Going Deeper: 2) In what ways does the number 40 show up in this section? Who were the Midianites (See Genesis 25:2)? In what state did Moses arrive to Midian in? Can you relate to this spiritual place Moses was at- unemployed, homeless, and broke? How did God show Himself to be with you?
III. “Who are you?” (Acts 7:30-36)
Have you ever stayed in one place for 40 years? Ok, maybe 10 years? 5? Can you imagine what 40 years would do to someone like Moses? 40 years now distances him from what his life was before in Egypt. Things are what they are; he is counting his blessings and making the best of things assuming whatever anointing was over his life is now gone.
In a flame that would not consume, an angel appears to Moses near Mount Sinai. Drawn toward this flame Moses hears the voice of the Lord declaring to him who He is. In fear he trembles and covers his eyes gazing away. Who are you?
Moses is told to remove his sandals, for the ground is made holy by His presence. Sandals are made by man to keep feet clear of dirt and rocks that can hurt the feet. However, coming into God’s presence nothing makes things clean by God. Sandals = Law.
See -> Romans 3:20-26.
However, the sandals (Law) are in place by a Holy God and such reverence bears the fruit of faith- trust and obedience, even in Moses. See -> Exodus 4:24-2.
God sees and hears the injustice against His people; He is sending Moses back to Egypt.
- Moses in his own strength (ruler and judge)
- Traitor and fugitive, rejected by Egypt
- Failure and rejected by Israel
- Moses in God’s strength (ruler and deliverer)
- This is who I am, therefore
- This is who you are.
As Stephen shows the Sanhedrin, Egypt and Israel’s rejection of God’s anointed servant did not stop God from raising Moses into his anointing. The rejected ruler and judge return as the anointed ruler and deliverer. As Joseph led Israel into Egypt, Moses would lead Israel out of Egypt.
Going Deeper: 3) How often are we prone to give up on something when it does not work out? In faith, God can bring vision to our anointing in His Kingdom work that often does not come to pass as we desire it to. How does this encounter Moses had with God encourage you to trust His timing? Which is more important: who we are in our eyes or who we are in God’s eyes?
- “It’s not about Moses, but Jesus! (Acts 7:37-39)
Stephen begins to pull the strings together now with Moses. Even Moses realized he was a part of a greater redemptive narrative. Stephen references Moses plea to Israel found in Deuteronomy 18:14-19.
Stephen would show how Moses was a shadow of Jesus. When Jesus arrives, the shadow is swallowed up into the day that has now come!
Left Egypt Left Heaven (Philippians 2:7-8)
Rejected at first Rejected at first (John 1:11)
Was a Shepherd Was the GOOD Shephard (John 10:11-14)
Delivered from Egypt Delivered from sin (Galatians 1:4)
As Moses was rejected by Israel then, so would Jesus be rejected by Israel in Stephen’s day.
Going Deeper: 4) Why Did Stephen bring up the passage in Deuteronomy regarding Moses and a future prophet? In what ways did Moses shadow into Jesus?
- Life Points for this week
- Moses found himself unemployed, homeless, and broke. He had to learn that those things did not define him.
- While time may distance us from unmet expectations we have had in life, God’s presence brings His patient work into our lives as it did with Moses- employment, home, and true wealth in love of family.
- Rejection does not stop God from working in the slightest way. Do not let rejection stop you from trusting Him. While it can be difficult to experience rejection, we must draw our identity from who we are in Him!
- If we are too preoccupied with what is not going our way, we will miss seeing Jesus doing life with us. In the end it is always about Him.
- You will grow into your anointing. Before the title comes the heart transformation. Before we can shepherd others, we ourselves must be submitting in faith to the Great Shepherd.
- God gives us Vision. Vision to spur our faith in Him- Faith that dreams BIG, Prays BOLDLY, and pursues RELENTLESSLY!!
2 Corinthians 5:16-21