Day 38: When the Old was New

Acts 7:30-41 :

“When forty years were fulfilled, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, in a flame of fire in a bush. When Moses saw it, he wondered at the sight. As he came close to see, a voice of the Lord came to him, ‘I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ Moses trembled, and dared not look. The Lord said to him, ‘Take your sandals off of your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground. I have surely seen the affliction of my people that is in Egypt, and have heard their groaning. I have come down to deliver them. Now come, I will send you into Egypt.’

“This Moses, whom they refused, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge?’—God has sent him as both a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the angel who appeared to him in the bush. This man led them out, having worked wonders and signs in Egypt, in the Red Sea, and in the wilderness for forty years. This is that Moses, who said to the children of Israel, ‘The Lord our God will raise up a prophet for you from among your brothers, like me.’ This is he who was in the assembly in the wilderness with the angel that spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our fathers, who received living oracles to give to us, to whom our fathers wouldn’t be obedient, but rejected him, and turned back in their hearts to Egypt, saying to Aaron, ‘Make us gods that will go before us, for as for this Moses, who led us out of the land of Egypt, we don’t know what has become of him.’ They made a calf in those days, and brought a sacrifice to the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their hands.

There was a time when the Old Testament was the New Testament. At least it was to the Jews who were coming out of Egypt to a new land. That’s what Stephen reminded the court about here. He also reminds them that even at that time, the people decided to rebel against God’s covenant and make an idol of “the works of their hands.”

It’s easy to say that since we don’t worship golden calves today that we are better than those silly Jews in the desert, but we are forgetting that whether or not there is a golden calf involved, we still tend to worship the works of our own hands. Any great accomplishment that we think we have done can become an idol that sets us up against the truth that God wants to make clear.

Stephen also reminds the court that Moses told them another prophet like him would come.