GOD GAVE THEM UP
Acts 7:37-43; Ex. 32:1-4; 2Chr. 7:10-21
Acts 7:37-43 This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear. (38) This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us: (39) To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt, (40) 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 know not what is become of him. (41) And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands. (42) Then God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven; as 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? (43) 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.
Exodus 32:1-4 And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we know not what is become of him. (2) And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me. (3) And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. (4) And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
2Chronicles 7:10-21 And on the three and twentieth day of the seventh month he sent the people away into their tents, glad and merry in heart for the goodness that the LORD had shewed unto David, and to Solomon, and to Israel his people. (11) Thus Solomon finished the house of the LORD, and the king's house: and all that came into Solomon's heart to make in the house of the LORD, and in his own house, he prosperously effected. (12) And the LORD appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for an house of sacrifice. (13) If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; (14) If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (15) Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place. (16) For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there for ever: and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually. (17) And as for thee, if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, and do according to all that I have commanded thee, and shalt observe my statutes and my judgments; (18) Then will I stablish the throne of thy kingdom, according as I have covenanted with David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man to be ruler in Israel. (19) But if ye turn away, and forsake my statutes and my commandments, which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods, and worship them; (20) Then will I pluck them up by the roots out of my land which I have given them; and this house, which I have sanctified for my name, will I cast out of my sight, and will make it to be a proverb and a byword among all nations. (21) And this house, which is high, shall be an astonishment to every one that passeth by it; so that he shall say, Why hath the LORD done thus unto this land, and unto this house?
v37-38a - THE CHURCH IN THE WILDERNESS. The word in Hebrew QAHAL translated in Septuagint–Greek Old Testament=EKKLESIA= assembly or church.
Gk EKKLESIA is used in the New Testament of four kinds of groups…
- The children of Israel gathered as a nation.
- A group of townspeople assembled in a town meeting (Acts 19:32 ASV) Some therefore cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly was in confusion; and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together. (39) But if ye seek anything about other matters, it shall be settled in the regular assembly.
- In a technical sense, all believers who are gathered together in the body of Christ (Col 1:18 ASV) And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
- Most frequently, in reference to a local group of professing Christians - the church at Antioch (Acts 13:1 ASV) Now there were at Antioch, in the church that was there, prophets and teachers, Barnabas, and Symeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen the foster-brother of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
THE CHURCH IN THE WILDERNESS - refers to Israel as the People of God.
- Just as Moses led the church in the OT.
- Christ leads the NT church.
- The NT church is designated as –
- "Abraham's seed" – Rom 4:11-18 (Gal 3:29 ASV) And if ye are Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, heirs according to promise.
- and the "Israel of God" (Gal 6:16) And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.
- stands in continuity with the Old Testament church.
- Like the OT church, the New Testament church is "in the wilderness" – it is a pilgrim church, far from the promised land – Hebrews 11:6-16 ASV And without faith it is impossible to be well-pleasing unto him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that seek after him. 7 By faith Noah, being warned of God concerning things not seen as yet, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; through which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. 8 By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed to go out unto a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. 9 By faith he became a sojourner in the land of promise, as in a land not his own, dwelling in tents, with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: 10 for he looked for the city which hath the foundations, whose builder and maker is God. 11 By faith even Sarah herself received power to conceive seed when she was past age, since she counted him faithful who had promised: 12 wherefore also there sprang of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of heaven in multitude, and as the sand, which is by the sea-shore, innumerable. 13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For they that say such things make it manifest that they are seeking after a country of their own. 15 And if indeed they had been mindful of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But now they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed of them, to be called their God; for he hath prepared for them a city.
- For this reason we must never become too comfortable with life on earth.
v38b-42 - GOD … GAVE THEM UP – Stephen's words reflect a principal well established in Biblical and redemptive history.
- Those that persist in repudiating God are given up by God.
- And are also delivered over to the influence of evil, Satan and immorality (Rom 1:24) Wherefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts unto uncleanness, that their bodies should be dishonored among them-selves: (28) And even as they refused to have God in their knowledge, God gave them up unto a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not fitting;
- Contrary to popular teaching, God does not continue to show love and forgiveness without any condition on our part.
- God forgives and communicates His love only to those who –
- turn their hearts toward Him.
- and sincerely repent and are obedient to the Word.
- For those who –
- harden their hearts.
- resist the Holy Spirit.
- refuse to accept God's salvation.
- there remains only God's wrath — Romans 2:4-6,8 ASV Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? 5 but after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up for thyself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; 6 who will render to every man according to his works: 8 but unto them that are factious, and obey not the truth, but obey unrighteousness, shall be wrath and indignation,
- These are turned over to worship –
- Molech - a title for various Canaanite deities to whom human sacrifices were offered.
- Rephan - the name of a god connected to the planet Saturn.
- What is your sign? Horoscopes-astrology-crystals-pyramids, and such are all part of divination and demon worship –
- for they have no power of their own.
- they are inanimate objects.
- people get angry when this is mentioned.
- little wonder many in churches today are wandering aimlessly -- 2Tim 4:7 "Having a form of godliness … from such turn away."
- John 5:40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
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Mail: Pastor Ira L. Hargis
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Sapulpa, Oklahoma USA 74066
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