4/22/16 The Sanhedrin Likened To The Children Of Israel Under Moses

Stephen goes on to say, “This same man, Moses, told his people that in the future God was going to send them a Messiah, and this Messiah must be heard and obeyed, or the people could not be saved.  Moses is the one who led a community of believers – a preview of what we currently enjoy in our own community, almost the first church – in the desert.  God’s Angel gave Moses directions and Moses in turn told the people what God’s expectations were of them.  But the people would not listen to Moses.  They turned away from him and from God in order to follow their hard, stubborn, deceived hearts.  They asked to go back and be slaves again in Egypt.  They asked Moses’ brother Aaron to make new gods for them out of metal and stone, saying, ‘We don’t know where this Moses guy went.  We’re on our own now, and we could use some new gods to help us out.’  They made a calf out of gold and proclaimed it their new god, worshipping a thing they had made with their own hands, instead of the One who created them and the whole universe.  When God saw this, He let them have their own way so that they could see the destruction the path they chose would cause.  God spoke to the children of Israel, and gave the same words to the prophet Amos to be recorded for future generations to see.  He said, ‘Did you offer me slaughtered animals and sacrifices during forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel?  You also took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, images which you made to worship; and I will carry you away beyond Babylon.’  When our ancestors were living in the desert for those forty years, they had the tent of meeting, the tabernacle designed by God Himself as a precursor to His Holy Temple.  This tabernacle was entrusted to Joshua and to the leaders of our ancestors after Moses’ death, and they brought it with them into the new land that they inherited.  It was with them as our ancestors fought and defeated the Gentile groups who were living in the land at that time, and stayed with them until King David designed and King Solomon built the first Temple.  Even then, there could not be anything built by human hands that could contain God, as spoken by the prophet Isaiah, who wrote, ‘Heaven is My throne, and earth is My footstool.  What house will you build for Me, says the Lord, or what is the place of My rest?  Has My hand not built all these things?’  Now you are just as stubborn and hard hearted as our ancestors were.  The Holy Spirit moves among you and you turn your faces away, refusing Him entry into your hearts.  All of the prophets sent to our ancestors by God were abused by them, and the ones who spoke of the coming of the Messiah were killed for their efforts!  Now He has come, and you yourselves have killed Him, you who, though you have not obeyed it, claim to know the law better than any common people, and to have received it directly from the angels of God Himself!”

 

Acts 7:37-53, Deuteronomy 18:15, Exodus 32:1, 23; Amos 5:25-27; Isaiah 66:1-2

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