Prepare your heart before God. Make it a holy place, repenting of your sins and praying to receive God’s Word.
Read Acts 7:17-34
 “As the time drew near for God to fulfill his promise to Abraham, the number of our people in Egypt had greatly increased.  Then ‘a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt.’  He dealt treacherously with our people and oppressed our ancestors by forcing them to throw out their newborn babies so that they would die.  “At that time Moses was born, and he was no ordinary child. For three months he was cared for by his family.  When he was placed outside, Pharaoh’s daughter took him and brought him up as her own son.  Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action.  “When Moses was forty years old, he decided to visit his own people, the Israelites.  He saw one of them being mistreated by an Egyptian, so he went to his defense and avenged him by killing the Egyptian.  Moses thought that his own people would realize that God was using him to rescue them, but they did not.  The next day Moses came upon two Israelites who were fighting. He tried to reconcile them by saying, ‘Men, you are brothers; why do you want to hurt each other?’  “But the man who was mistreating the other pushed Moses aside and said, ‘Who made you ruler and judge over us?  Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?’  When Moses heard this, he fled to Midian, where he settled as a foreigner and had two sons.  “After forty years had passed, an angel appeared to Moses in the flames of a burning bush in the desert near Mount Sinai.  When he saw this, he was amazed at the sight. As he went over to get a closer look, he heard the Lord say:  ‘I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.’ Moses trembled with fear and did not dare to look.  “Then the Lord said to him, ‘Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.  I have indeed seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their groaning and have come down to set them free. Now come, I will send you back to Egypt.’ Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhy did God come to speak with Moses?
As we began to see yesterday, Stephen is challenging the Jews’ narrow perception that God’s presence was solely indicated by the Temple. He is doing this by teaching them things they have never noticed in the Scriptures they’ve known their whole lives. He continues by highlighting God’s presence with Moses in faraway places such as Egypt and the desert, through the “holy place” at the burning bush (33) and God’s affirmation that he has “seen” and “heard” their suffering and has “come down” to deliver his people (34). The Jews had not got it all wrong about the Temple or the tabernacle. They were constructed to God’s design, but even Solomon knew that the Temple wouldn’t be a literal home for God (1 Kings 8:27) and it was never intended to be. Stephen was adamant that by looking at the evidence from Scripture, God could not be contained or limited to a physical place. He dwells with his people and thus the Law and the life of the prophet Moses, both of whom he was accused of disregarding, actually support his teachings.
Where do you feel closest to God? Where do you meet him? How do you prepare yourself for that meeting?
Tell the Lord you’re grateful to be able meet with him whenever you want. Ask to approach him well prepared.
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