Rejected but Restored
Lord, as I share my heart with You in prayer, share Your heart with me in Your Word today.
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 appear to Moses that day?
Stephen now moves on to the life of Moses, showing how God’s hand was on Moses from his birth, yet his fellow Israelites failed to recognize it. From the way that Moses was saved as an infant, and his upbringing in the Egyptian court, it’s clear that God was calling Moses to deliver Israel out of Egypt. Moses always identified with his Hebrew brothers and wanted to fight for their freedom, whether or not he understood this as the call of God prior to the burning bush encounter. I doubt if any of us has a calling as spectacular as Moses’s. Yet God takes the experiences of our lives, too, and uses them to prepare us for what he wants us to do. He gives us eyes to see injustice, and calls us to do something about it. Sometimes, like Moses, we give up because people reject us and question our calling. God, however, does not give up on us. God met with Moses in the wilderness and reaffirmed his call, sending him back to Egypt (34). God can do the same for us if we run away from his calling. He may not speak through a burning bush, but he still offers a second chance (Jonah 3:1).
Have you allowed rejection (or fear of it) to stop you from obeying God? If so, talk to him about it.
Lord God, I want to clearly hear Your call and willingly follow it. I know You’ve prepared me for it.