Acts 7: 1-16
Are we listening to His voice?
We observe Stephen’s confrontation with the high priest proclaiming the glorious mercy and grace of God throughout Israel’s history. He was emphasizing the fact that, though there were several instances where the Israelites rejected God and chose their own ways, still God reached out to deliver the nation after each rejection, through His appointed people such as Joseph, Moses, etc. God’s final act of deliverance was through His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross, for our sins, yet we see that the Israelites as well as the present generation too had misunderstood and rejected Jesus Christ.
We know that Abraham was called by God to move from Ur to a place where God would show him. Ur was a very comfortable place for Abraham and it was a tough decision for him to leave Ur. Abraham was obedient enough to accept God’s call and go ahead. His decision to move was appreciated by God with a wonderful promise – descendants. Likewise, we must also believe in the promise of God, the promised land of heaven. We ought to obey when God commands. We are obliged to heed His call, however tough it may seem to be at first.
Has He called us? Are we paying attention to His call? In the spiritual realm, if we depict Ur as a picture of the world, we ought to contemplate – are we able to lead a life moving away from the filth of the world or are we still in the grips of the world. Remember, God is speaking to us every moment. Let us examine ourselves and strive to lead a life adhering to the Spirit of the Lord.
Now, when looking at Joseph, though he was rejected by his brothers, he wasn’t forsaken or forgotten by God. Though he had a tough road to travel, God delivered and blessed him by exalting him to a position as the ruler of Egypt. He forgave his brothers and allowed them to stay with him in Egypt. Thus, we see Joseph move with compassion rather than revenge towards his brothers. Are we being blessed because of our good deeds? Do we have a mind of forgiveness? Through Joseph’s influence, the pharaoh of Egypt provided a place for them to live in Goshen.
Joseph can be considered as a shadow of Jesus Christ who was rejected and hated by His brethren. Jesus forgave our sins and through His blood, we received the opportunity to become His children and entrance to heaven with eternal life.
While the Israelites lived in Egypt for about 400 years, they adopted the Egyptian culture and had become complacent, carnal and worldly. They ignored and set aside God and the glorious call to the Promised Land. As it was God’s purpose to refocus their attention to God and to bring them back to the Promised Land, He even chose the evil pharaoh to change His people’s minds by bringing in harsh laws.
If any of God’s children are backslidden, He will always use His rod and staff to correct us to bring us back to His will and His way. Remember, God’s plan and purpose about us cannot be changed by Satan, because we have been elected, ordained and predestined according to His foreknowledge.