Acts 7:21-40 This is He That was in the Church in the Wilderness

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Act 7:21-40 This is He That was in the Church in the Wilderness

[Study Aired January 29, 2023]

Act 7:21  And when he was cast out, Pharaoh’s daughter took him up, and nourished him for her own son.
Act 7:22  And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds.
Act 7:23  And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel.
Act 7:24  And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian:
Act 7:25  For he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not.
Act 7:26  And the next day he shewed himself unto them as they strove, and would have set them at one again, saying, Sirs, ye are brethren; why do ye wrong one to another?
Act 7:27  But he that did his neighbour wrong thrust him away, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge over us?
Act 7:28  Wilt thou kill me, as thou diddest the Egyptian yesterday?
Act 7:29  Then fled Moses at this saying, and was a stranger in the land of Madian, where he begat two sons.
Act 7:30  And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of mount Sina an angel of the Lord in a flame of fire in a bush.
Act 7:31  When Moses saw it, he wondered at the sight: and as he drew near to behold it, the voice of the Lord came unto him,
Act 7:32  Saying, I am the God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Then Moses trembled, and durst not behold.
Act 7:33  Then said the Lord to him, Put off thy shoes from thy feet: for the place where thou standest is holy ground.
Act 7:34  I have seen, I have seen the affliction of my people which is in Egypt, and I have heard their groaning, and am come down to deliver them. And now come, I will send thee into Egypt.
Act 7:35  This Moses whom they refused, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge? the same did God send to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the angel which appeared to him in the bush.
Act 7:36  He brought them out, after that he had shewed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red sea, and in the wilderness forty years.
Act 7:37  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.
Act 7:38  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:
Act 7:39  To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt,
Act 7:40  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 wot not what is become of him.

Stephen, like our Lord, is on trial for his very life, and yet his defense is to demonstrate that the entire history of the Lord’s people is one of rebellion against him and His laws and of persecuting and slaying His prophets whom the Lord has sent to call them to repentance. That, of course, is not a defense at all. It is rather an indictment of his accusers.

In our last study, Stephen had just finished reminding the Sanhedrin and all the elders of Israel that their fathers had hated Joseph simply because Jacob favored Joseph above all His brothers, and they all hated him “with envy”:

Act 7:9  And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt: but God was with him,
Act 7:10  And delivered him out of all his afflictions, and gave him favour and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house.

We ended our last study taking note that the Lord increases our numbers while we are in Egypt without increasing our joy. Instead, He causes the Egyptians, signifying the people of this world, to persecute His chosen people causing them to “groan [under their] affliction” (vs 34). This is the final verses of our last study:

Act 7:17  But when the time of the promise drew nigh, which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt,
Act 7:18  Till another king arose, which knew not Joseph.
Act 7:19  The same dealt subtilly with our kindred, and evil entreated our fathers, so that they cast out their young children, to the end they might not live.
Act 7:20  In which time Moses was born, and was exceeding fair, and nourished up in his father’s house three months:

Act 7:21  And when he was cast out, Pharaoh’s daughter took him up, and nourished him for her own son.

Down through the generations of mankind, the seed of the serpent has always attempted to destroy the seed of the woman. However, all the serpent is permitted to do is to ‘bruise the heel of the seed of the woman.’ Cain slew his brother, Abel, and the Lord replaced Abel with Seth. Ishmael mocked Isaac, but the Lord favored Isaac and had Ishmael cast out of Abraham’s house. Esau threatened to kill Jacob, but the Lord kept Jacob safe while judging him in Haran while Jacob worked for his uncle Laban. Then the Lord brought Jacob safely back into Canaan. King Saul attempted to kill David, but the Lord gave David favor in the eyes of King Saul’s own son, Jonathan.

In this case to which Stephen alludes concerning Moses, the Lord had Pharaoh’s own daughter take in and nourish the very person He would use to bring Israel up out of Egypt. The Lord is still able and still does use those in the world to preserve us for His own purpose and His own service.

Gen 3:14  And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
Gen 3:15  And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

The adversary does exactly what he is sent to accomplish which is to “bruise His heel”, the heel of “the seed of the woman”.

Nevertheless, the adversary is not permitted to keep the Lord’s work from going forward. The Lord even uses His enemies to unwittingly further His purpose. In this event it was Pharaoh’s own daughter whom He used to nourish and bring up the very man who would be used to “destroy Egypt”:

Exo 10:7  And Pharaoh’s servants said unto him, How long shall this man be a snare unto us? let the men go, that they may serve the LORD their God: knowest thou not yet that Egypt is destroyed?

Pro 16:7  When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.

The Lord “makes… all things” work out “after the counsel of His own will”:

Eph 1:9  Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
Eph 1:10  That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
Eph 1:11  In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

Stephen continues his discourse:

Act 7:22  And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds.
Act 7:23  And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel.

Typifying the time which we all must spend in Babylon the great, Moses had to be in Egypt before he could come out of Egypt. He lived to be one hundred and twenty years old, and the first forty of those years was as a member of the very family of Pharaoh. ‘Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was mighty in words and in deeds’ tells us that we are all first ‘Egyptians’ with our whole heart and soul in this world.

We are not told just how he was made aware of the events surrounding his birth, but it is apparent that the daughter of Pharaoh, or his sister Miriam who served Pharaoh’s daughter, informed him that he was the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Signifying how we all begin our service to the Lord with an overzealous enthusiasm which invariably makes us “hated of all men”, Moses thought of himself as the savior of his people in his own power.

Act 7:24  And seeing one of them [a fellow Israelite] suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian:
Act 7:25  For he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not.

This is a perfect example of how we all run out and tell all our families and friends and church members how wonderful it is to discover that the whole established Christian religion is wrong about eternal torment and that the Truth is that “as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive… but they understand not.”

1Co 15:22  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

We realize the Lord has given us a great revelation, and we think our families and friends will be so happy that they will see us as a messenger of God. Instead, they react just as this fellow Israelite reacted, and they adamantly refuse us and our newly discovered knowledge of the mind of Christ as their savior, which is exactly what we will be at the appointed time:

Oba 1:21  And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD’S.

Rom 11:30  For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:
Rom 11:31  Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.

Act 7:26  And the next day he shewed himself unto them as they strove, and would have set them at one again, saying, Sirs, ye are brethren; why do ye wrong one to another?
Act 7:27  But he that did his neighbour wrong thrust him away, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge over us?
Act 7:28  Wilt thou kill me, as thou diddest the Egyptian yesterday?
Act 7:29  Then fled Moses at this saying, and was a stranger in the land of Madian, where he begat two sons.

Moses came out of Egypt long before the congregation of Israel did. He spent his own forty years in the wilderness of Midian keeping the flocks of his father-in-law before he became a ‘savior’ to Israel. He even married a Gentile wife who detested the idea of circumcision while he was there in Midian:

Exo 2:15  Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian: and he sat down by a well.
Exo 2:16  Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters: and they came and drew water, and filled the troughs to water their father’s flock.
Exo 2:17  And the shepherds came and drove them away: but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock.
Exo 2:18  And when they came to Reuel their father, he said, How is it that ye are come so soon to day?
Exo 2:19  And they said, An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds, and also drew water enough for us, and watered the flock.
Exo 2:20  And he said unto his daughters, And where is he? why is it that ye have left the man? call him, that he may eat bread.
Exo 2:21  And Moses was content to dwell with the man: and he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter.
Exo 2:22  And she bare him a son, and he called his name Gershom: for he said, I have been a stranger in a strange land.

Exo 4:25  Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and said, Surely a bloody husband art thou to me.
Exo 4:26  So he let him go: then she said, A bloody husband thou art, because of the circumcision.

The only thing more despised than physical circumcision in this world is spiritual circumcision:

Rom 2:28  For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
Rom 2:29  But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

Moses was “a stranger and a pilgrim… in a strange land” just as Israel had been in the land of Egypt, and as their father Abraham had been in Canaan before them:

Heb 11:13  These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

If we are true to the Lord, then we, too, are strangers and pilgrims in this world:

1Pe 2:11  Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;

Christ has placed us in this world to salt it and to be a light in this present dark and evil world. The Lord wants us to be a witness to this evil generation for Him. He does not want us to come out of this world in the sense of physically living apart from this world. What the Lord wants us to do is to follow in His steps and be witnesses of Him and His Father, while living in and associating with this world, just as He did:

Mat 5:13  Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
Mat 5:14  Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

Joh 17:15  I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
Joh 17:16  They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
Joh 17:17  Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
Joh 17:18  As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.

Moses being the first to come out of Egypt and then being sent to bring the rest of his people out of Egypt, signifies how we are “the firstfruits unto God and the Lamb” being the first to come out of this world and eventually become the saviors of the world.

Again, I must quote:

Rom 11:30  For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:
Rom 11:31  Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.

Act 7:30  And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of mount Sinai an angel of the Lord in a flame of fire in a bush.

‘When forty years were expired’ signifies the time we all spend in the wilderness of “mount Sinai [which] answers to Jerusalem which now is and is in bondage with her children”:

Gal 4:21  Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?
Gal 4:22  For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
Gal 4:23  But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.
Gal 4:24  Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.
Gal 4:25  For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
Gal 4:26  But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.

Act 7:31  When Moses saw it, he wondered at the sight: and as he drew near to behold it, the voice of the Lord came unto him,
Act 7:32  Saying, I am the God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Then Moses trembled, and durst not behold.
Act 7:33  Then said the Lord to him, Put off thy shoes from thy feet: for the place where thou standest is holy ground.

Mount Sinai is in Arabia, it is not in the so-called ‘Holy Land’. The only thing that makes any part of this ‘earth’, this ‘land’, holy is the presence of the Lord, and Jesus Christ is not ‘present’ in any of the governments of any of the nations of this world, including the physical nation of modern Israel.

Act 7:34  I have seen, I have seen the affliction of my people which is in Egypt, and I have heard their groaning, and am come down to deliver them. And now come, I will send thee into Egypt.
Act 7:35  This Moses whom they refused, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge? the same did God send to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the angel which appeared to him in the bush.

The calling of Moses, the very man His own people had refused, signifies our own calling to become rulers and deliverers of this world and then, if we are given to remain faithful until the end of our physical life, we, too, will be used by God to show His mercy to and to deliver our fellow man from the curse of death:

Rom 11:30  For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:
Rom 11:31  Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.

Act 7:36  He brought them out, after that he had shewed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red sea, and in the wilderness forty years.

The Lord had shown Moses signs and wonders at the burning bush after forty years in the wilderness of Midian. It was done to convince Moses that he was talking with “the God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob” (vs 32). All Israel witnessed the ten plagues which the Lord poured out on the Egyptians, culminating in the deaths of the firstborn both of Egypt’s people and of their cattle:

Exo 12:29  And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle.
Exo 12:30  And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead.
Exo 12:31  And he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve the LORD, as ye have said.
Exo 12:32  Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have said, and be gone; and bless me also.
Exo 12:33  And the Egyptians were urgent upon the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste; for they said, We be all dead men.

Act 7:37  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.

This verse is a direct reference to Christ, and the Sanhedrin knows that is Stephen’s point.  Stephen goes beyond that and indicts his accusers for rejecting Christ, just as their Fathers had rejected Moses:

Act 7:38  This is he [Moses], that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel [Christ] which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:
Act 7:39  To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt,
Act 7:40  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 wot not what is become of him.

This verse demonstrates that we come out of Egypt while Egypt is still within us. Here are some New Testament realities of what these verses signify and foreshadow:

1Co 3:1  And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
1Co 3:2  I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
1Co 3:3  For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
1Co 3:4  For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?

Gal 3:1  O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
Gal 3:2  This only would I learn of you Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
Gal 3:3  Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

Heb 5:12  For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
Heb 5:13  For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
Heb 5:14  But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full ageeven those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Stephen is showing his accusers, who are types of us, that it is in their (our) nature to hate the Lord and His ways.

Physical Israel rejected Moses and told him that his coming into Egypt to deliver them had only made things worse for them:

Exo 5:19  And the officers of the children of Israel did see that they were in evil case, after it was said, Ye shall not minish ought from your bricks of your daily task.
Exo 5:20  And they met Moses and Aaron, who stood in the way, as they came forth from Pharaoh:
Exo 5:21  And they said unto them, The LORD look upon you, and judge; because ye have made our savour to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to slay us.

Moses himself had his faith tried:

Exo 5:22  And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Lord, wherefore hast thou so evil entreated this people? why is it that thou hast sent me?
Exo 5:23  For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people; neither hast thou delivered thy people at all.

God’s timing is seldom ever our timing.

When Israel arrived at mount Sinai, they had already seen many wonders and miracles. They had witnessed all the ten plagues upon Egypt, including the death of all the first born. Beginning at the side of the Red Sea the Lord revealed Himself in a cloud that shadowed them from the heat by day and a pillar of fire by night. Then the Lord blew a dry path through the Red Sea. They saw the Egyptian army destroyed in the sea (Exo 14:21-31). Three days later they saw the bitter waters of Marah made sweet (Exo 15:22-25).

Just a few days after the miracle of making the bitter waters sweet, the children of Israel accused Moses of bringing them out into the wilderness to die of starvation:

Exo 16:1  And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt.

The fifteenth day of the second month is one month after leaving Egypt on the Passover, which was on the fourteenth day of the first month (Exo 12:6).

Exo 16:2  And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness:
Exo 16:3  And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.

This is just one month after coming out of Egypt and just two weeks before coming to Mount Sinai in the third month:

Exo 19:1  In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai.
Exo 19:2  For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount.

“The same day” means the first day of “the third month”. They get there just in time for the first “feast of weeks”, also known as the feast of Pentecost, the date on which the New Testament was born.

The law was given to Moses at the first “feast of weeks” in the Old Testament, and the holy spirit was given on the “feast of weeks” in the New Testament.

While on their way to Sinai, “all the congregation”, with the Cloud over them by day and a pillar of fire by night, are accusing Moses of bringing them “into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” So, the Lord rains manna from heaven in the morning and sends quail for meat in the evening (Exodus 16:4,13-18). As they continue their journey toward mount Sinai, they camp again in a place  called Rephidim. Once again “there was no water for the people to drink”, and the people of Israel again accuse Moses of bringing them out in the wilderness to kill them with thirst:

Exo 17:1  And all the congregation of the children of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, after their journeys, according to the commandment of the LORD, and pitched in Rephidim: and there was no water for the people to drink.
Exo 17:2  Wherefore the people did chide with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said unto them, Why chide ye with me? wherefore do ye tempt the LORD?
Exo 17:3  And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?
Exo 17:4  And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, What shall I do unto this people? they be almost ready to stone me.
Exo 17:5  And the LORD said unto Moses, Go on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, take in thine hand, and go.
Exo 17:6  Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.

As a type of our own old man, the congregation of Israel were never willing to endure hardship and depend upon the Lord. They apparently saw no need to be tried or tested to show them how faithless they were, and to show us how faithless we are. The instant they became hungry or began to thirst, they immediately began to accuse the Lord of trying to destroy them.

It is while Israel is camped here at Rephidim, before they even get to Mount Sinai, that they are attacked by Amelek.

Exo 17:8  Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim.

This ‘Amalek’ is the son of Eliphaz, the son of Esau:

1Ch 1:35  The sons of Esau; Eliphaz, Reuel, and Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah.
1Ch 1:36  The sons of Eliphaz; Teman, and Omar, Zephi, and Gatam, Kenaz, and Timna, and Amalek.

Genesis tells us that ‘Timna’ was a concubine of Esau’s oldest son Eliphaz, “and she bare to Eliphaz Amalek”:

Gen 36:12  And Timna was concubine to Eliphaz Esau’s son; and she bare to Eliphaz Amalek: these were the sons of Adah Esau’s wife.

Deuteronomy adds more details to this attack by Amalek, and it tells us of the Lord’s relationship with Amalek:

Deu 25:17  Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt;
Deu 25:18  How he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, even all that were feeble behind thee, when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not God.
Deu 25:19  Therefore it shall be, when the LORD thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it, that thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget it.

All the following verses concerning Esau align and accord with what the Lord says about Esau’s fate here in Exodus and in Deuteronomy:

Jer 49:8  Flee ye, turn back, dwell deep, O inhabitants of Dedan; for I will bring the calamity of Esau upon him, the time that I will visit him.

Jer 49:10  But I have made Esau bare, I have uncovered his secret places, and he shall not be able to hide himself: his seed is spoiled, and his brethren, and his neighbours, and he is not.

Oba 1:8  Shall I not in that day, saith the LORD, even destroy the wise men out of Edom, and understanding out of the mount of Esau?
Oba 1:9  And thy mighty men, O Teman, shall be dismayed, to the end that every one of the mount of Esau may be cut off by slaughter.

Oba 1:18  And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle in them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the LORD hath spoken it.

Oba 1:21  And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD’S.

Mal 1:3  And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.

Their victory over Amalek is the last miracle Israel experienced before coming to Mount Sinai. When Moses held up “the rod of God in [his] hand” Israel prevailed but “when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed” (Exo 17:11). So, Aaron and Hur held up Moses’ hands until “Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people”:

Exo 17:13  And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.
Exo 17:14  And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.
Exo 17:15  And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovahnissi:
Exo 17:16  For he said, Because the LORD hath sworn that the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.

Amalek is the seed of Esau, and Esau is the rejected twin brother of Jacob, signifying those who are the rejected seed of Abraham. Ishmael is also the rejected seed of Abraham, but Esau is closer even than Ishmael to those who are the Lord’s elect. It is apostate Christianity with whom “the Lord will have war from generation to generation”, and that is the spiritual significance of ‘Amalek’.

Stephen’s point as we will see is that physical Israel and apostate Christianity are the anti-type of Amalek. At virtually every trial physical Israel encountered while in the wilderness, even with the Lord being with them in the form of a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, “the whole congregation” revealed they had no faith in Moses or in the Lord who was there in the cloud and in the pillar of fire.

That is the point Stephen is making, and it all points to our own flesh and our own old man who will not give up his throne in our hearts without a mighty battle which he is doomed to lose.

Next week we will see that while Stephen never once called for the destruction of the temple, and he never once said that Christ ever called for the destruction of the temple, Stephen does point out what the prophets have said:

Isa 66:1  Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?
Isa 66:2  For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.

Solomon himself admitted:

1Ki 8:27  But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?

Nothing has changed in the past two thousand years. Quoting the scriptures to make a scriptural point did not go over well with the established religious leaders of Stephen’s day any more than it does today, as we will learn in our next study.

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