Dancing with the Devil: Acts 7:35-43
““35) This Moses whom they disowned, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge?’ is the one whom God sent to be both a ruler and a deliverer with the help of the angel who appeared to him in the thorn bush. 36) This man led them out, performing wonders and signs in the land of Egypt and in the Red Sea and in the wilderness for forty years. This is the Moses who said to the sons of Israel, ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brethren.’ 37) This is the one who was in the congregation in the wilderness together with the angel who was speaking to him on Mount Sinai, and who was with our fathers; and he received living oracles to pass on to you. 39) Our fathers were unwilling to be obedient to him, but repudiated him and in their hearts turned back to Egypt, 40) saying to Aaron, ‘Make for us gods who will go before us; for this Moses who led us out of the land of Egypt—we do not know what happened to him.’ 41) At that time they made a calf and brought a sacrifice to the idol, and were rejoicing in the works of their hands. 42) But God turned away and delivered them up to serve the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, ‘It was not to Me that you offered victims and sacrifices forty years in the wilderness, was it, O house of Israel? 43) You also took along the tabernacle of Moloch and the star of the god Rompha, the images which you made to worship. I also will remove you beyond Babylon.’” Acts‬ ‭7‬:‭35‬-‭43‬ ‭
Truth can be painful. The Sanhedrin prided themselves in following in the steps of their fathers. Stephen pointed out that they were right, and that their fathers rejected both Moses and God. They were stubborn and obstinate.
Despite all the wonders and signs that God performed through Moses, they still rejected him and repudiated him in their hearts. They quickly made a golden calve and worshiped other gods. Their fathers treated Moses the same way these religious leaders treated the Messiah. They rejected and crucified the one God had sent.
It is at this point in the defense of Stephen that he turns the tables. He puts the Sanhedrin and the religious leaders on trial. He points out their guilt and sin. There were only two possible responses. They could respond with remorse or resentment. They could repent or retaliate.
The same is true today. The word of God always exposes sin and rebellion and calls for repentance. Gods Word does not tickle ears, it tries the hearts of men and women.
Keep in mind, Stephen was addressing the religious leaders. He was calling them to get right with God. The same needs to happen in countless apostate churches today. This text screams that it is possible to be religious but lost. It is possible to give lip service to God while living in the flesh and dancing with the devil.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global