Happy Wednesday! Have you ever been in a situation where you tried to help someone and they were initially happy? Then as time went on they were no longer happy with what you had done for them, they whined, were discontent and turned away from you? Well maybe or maybe not, but today we will continue to read Stephen’s sermon to the high council after he was arrested (see Acts 6 for more information on Stephen).
“39 “But our ancestors refused to listen to Moses. They rejected him and wanted to return to Egypt. 40 They told Aaron, ‘Make us some gods who can lead us, for we don’t know what has become of this Moses, who brought us out of Egypt.’ 41 So they made an idol shaped like a calf, and they sacrificed to it and celebrated over this thing they had made. 42 Then God turned away from them and abandoned them to serve the stars of heaven as their gods! In the book of the prophets it is written,
‘Was it to me you were bringing sacrifices and offerings during those forty years in the wilderness, Israel?
43 No, you carried your pagan gods—
the shrine of Molech,
the star of your god Rephan,
and the images you made to worship them.
So I will send you into exile
as far away as Babylon.’[Isaiah 66:1-2 NLT]” – ACTS 7:39-43 NLT.
- The Israelites refused to listen to Moses after he brought them out of Egypt.
- Moses was rejected again.
- The Israelites wanted to return to Egypt.
- The Israelites desired to worship an idol than to wait on Moses to deliver a word from God.
- God turned away from them and abandoned them to let them serve another god.
While Moses pursed his calling/purpose, followed God’s lead, and brought the Israelites out of slavery the Israelites complained. The Israelites praised God for delivering them, but on their way to the promise land the Isrealites became discontent and they whined about many things. Eventually, they decided it would be best to worship idols instead of God. God said (excuse my paraphrase) fine, good luck with that…and he turned away from them and abandoned them to serve false gods.
Sisters and brothers, we may laugh or find it hard to believe that the Isrealites worshipped an idol made with human hands (something shaped like a calf) instead of worshipping the one true God who had been faithful to hear their prayers and groaning, delivered them against all odds from slavery in Egypt, and continued to provide for them in the desert.
But if we were honest:
- How many times have we turned away from God to worship other idols?
- How many times have we wanted to go back to the things God delivered us from?
- How many times have we groaned and complained about our circumstances even when God has shown himself faithful time-and-time again?
- What have I put before God?
- What have I created that has become my god?
- What do I worship in place of worshipping God?
- How can I be more aware and thankful for the things God has done and continues to do for me?
Father God thank you for opening our eyes to the things that concern you. Thank you for loving us even when we may have turned away from you or grumbled about the things in our life. Lord God, you have been faithful all of our lives. You have delivered us from many situations and you continue to rescue us, save us and use our past and current to transform our future. You have heard our cries and answered our prayers. Lord use all your might and power to continue to transform our hearts, thoughts and tongues. Help us to learn from the mistakes of the Isrealites and not repeat the things that they did or that we currently do that offends you. Lord point out the idols that we created and help us to destroy those things that have tried to take your place. Lord we surrender ourselves to you and desire to serve only you. Lord keep us focused. Help us not to be discouraged by the things around us. Remind us of your goodness and faithfulness. In Jesus name, amen.
Registration for our next women’s retreat is open.
Theme: Hope Anchored by Faith – “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” Hebrews 6:19
When: Saturday, July 25, 2020
Time: 9:00 AM Pacific Standard Time
In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 the retreat will be held online as a virtual retreat. Register in advance:
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Bible Reference: http://biblegateway.com