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Bible Commentaries

Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible

Acts 7

 

 

Verses 14-43

Acts 7:14-17. Then sent Joseph, and called his father Jacob to him, and all his kindred, threescore and fifteen souls. So Jacob went down into Egypt, and died, he, and our fathers, and were carried over into Sychem, and laid in the sepulcher that Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of Emmor the father of Sychem. But when the time of the promise drew nigh, which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt,

Note those words, “the time of the promise,” and remember that every promise has its due time of fulfillment, and that there is a time of promise, to all the Lord’s chosen people, when he will surely bring them out of bondage into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

Acts 7:18-20. Till another king arose, which knew not Joseph. The same dealt subtly with our kindred, and evil entreated our father, so that they cast out their young children, to the end they might not live. In which time Moses was born, and was exceeding fair, and nourished up in his father’s house three months:

In the darkest night of Israel’s bondage in Egypt, her star of hope arose: “Moses was born, and was exceeding fair;” or, as the margin has it, “was fair to God,” ¾ with a beauty something more than human.

Acts 7:21-22, And when he was cast out, Pharaoh’s daughter took him up, and nourished him for her own son. And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds.

He was well qualified for the work to which God had called him, but how much more fully qualified is that great Prophet, like unto Hoses, whom God has raised up, in these latter days, for the salvation of men, even Jesus Christ his Son! He knows more than all the learning and wisdom of the Egyptians, he knows more than the cleverness of the devil, so he can deliver us from all his crafty wiles.

Acts 7:23-25. And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel. And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian: for he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not.

Alas! it is just the same with Israel now. The Lord Jesus came to his own, and, according to one of his parables, the Father said of him, “They will reverence my Son;” but they did nothing of the kind; they said, “This is the Heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours.” And, alas! how many, nowadays, are imitating their evil example! They say, “We will not have this man to reign over us;” they refuse to yield themselves to the sovereignty of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Acts 7:26-30. And the next day he shewed himself unto them as they strove, and would have set them at one again, saying, Sirs, ye are brethren; why do ye wrong one to another? But he that did his neighbor wrong thrust ham away, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge over us? Wilt thou kill me, as thou diddest the Egyptian yesterday! Then fled Moses at this saying, and was a stranger in the land of Madian, where he begat two sons. And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of mount Sina an angel of the Lord in a game of fire in a bush.

So that he was eighty years of age when he really began his great lifework. Perhaps, as a rule, the larger part of our time is occupied in getting ready to work. Yet, if we are able to perform a word as good as that which Moses did, it will well repay us for a long season of preparation.

Acts 7:31-34. When Moses saw it, he wondered at the sight: and as he drew near to behold it, the voice of the Lord came unto him, saying, I am the God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Then Moses trembled, and durst not behold. Then said the Lord to him, Put off thy shoes from thy feet: for the place where thou standest is holy ground. I have seen, I have seen the affliction of my people which is in Egypt, and I have heard their groaning, and am come down, to deliver them.

All this must have been very pleasant to the ear of Moses; it was solemn, yet it was exceedingly sweet; but notice what comes next:

Acts 7:34. And now come, I will send thee into Egypt.

Oh, dear! what a falling-off there seems to be in these words! God first says, “I have heard their groaning, and am come down to deliver them;” and then he adds, “I will send thee into Egypt.” Yes, truly, from the grandeur of the divine working down to the insignificance of our instrumentality, is a tremendous stoop; yet the God who says, “I will save sinners by my grace; none but myself can save them;” also says to me, “Go thou, and preach the gospel to them.” The same Lord who says, “I will change the heart of stone into a heart of flesh, and work a miracle of mercy in renewing those who are dead in trespasses and sins,” also says to you, “Speak to the persons sitting with you in the pew, and seek to point them to the Saviour.” It is a wonderful stoop, but it is the condescension of almighty grace, and it brings great honour to the poor, trembling, unworthy person to whom the message is addressed. Moses thought himself very unfit for the task of delivering Israel, and he would, if he had dared to do so, have refrained from that task; but God said to him, “Now come, I will send thee into Egypt.” Ah, brethren! how different a man did Moses then become! When he went out by himself, without any commission, he was impatient to get to his work, and he slew an Egyptian, and so had to flee away out of the country; but when he was sent in God’s name, when the Lord said to him, “Now come, I will send thee,” then the work was accomplished. O my brethren, in your service for the Saviour, always seek for power from on high! Ask to be sent of God, and pray your Master to go with you; then will you succeed in the task which he entrusts to you.

Acts 7:35. This Moses whom they refused, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge? the same did God send to he a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the angel which appeared to him in the bush.

Is not that a shadow of that grander truth, “The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner,”

Acts 7:36-37. He brought them out, after that he had showed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red sea, and in the wilderness forty years. This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord pour God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear.

Now you see that Moses was thus a type of Christ. God grant that we may not reject Christ, as the Israelites rejected Moses; but may we be willing that he should be to us our Judge and our Deliverer!

Acts 7:38-39. This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sinai, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us: to whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt,

Though Moses had brought them out of Egypt, they were not obedient to him, and they wanted to go back to the land of bondage. And, ah! brethren, this is the great crime of the present day, the crime of mankind in general, that, after all Jesus has done, there is still within so many the evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God.

Acts 7:40-41. Saying unto Aaron, Make us gods to go before us: for as for this Moses, which brought us out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of Him. And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands.

This again is another of the ways by which men attempt to make an idol god out of something which they can see, and to rejoice in what they themselves do instead of trusting in what the Lord Jesus has done.

Acts 7:42-43. Then God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven; is it is written in the book of the prophets, O ye house of Israel, have ye offered to me slain beasts and sacrifices by the space of forty years in the wilderness? Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them: and I will carry you away beyond Babylon.

There was still idolatry in their hearts, and Moses was rejected by them. God grant that we may not be idolaters, and so reject the Prophet, like unto Moses, whom the Lord has sent unto us! Amen!

 


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Bibliography Information
Spurgeon, Charle Haddon. "Commentary on Acts 7:4". "Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/spe/acts-7.html. 2011.

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