One of the magnificent features of the Bible’s message is that God helps. The fact that God helps is seen in his promise of provision for mankind’s sin (Gen. 3:15), the repetitive sending of Judges to the people for redemption, and God’s great messages of hope announced to rebellious people by righteous prophets.
Stephen’s great apologetic appeal made to his own executioners highlighted the fact that God wanted to help. Stephen took them back in time to the Exodus and reminded them of God’s concern for their situation. Acts 7:34 notes that God had “seen the affliction” of his people; he had “heard their groaning”; and furthermore he had “come down to deliver them.” Yet God would act through his servant Moses. God told this great man Moses, “I will send you to Egypt.” God’s redemption of his people would be announced and led through Moses.
Unfortunately, the people rejected God’s redemption through Moses. They said, “who made you a ruler and a judge over us” (Acts 7:35). But it was Moses whom “God sent as both ruler and redeemer” (Acts 7:35). It was Moses who “received living oracles to give to us” (Acts 7:38). Just as God redeemed this rebellious people from Egypt by an often reluctant leader, He has also made redemption possible to all those who will follow the perfect, righteous, and eager Savior. Moses recognized that his own life was in many ways foreshadowing the life of Christ when he said, “God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your brothers” (Acts 7:37; Deut. 18:15).
Just as God’s help and God’s helper was rejected by the people in the Exodus, God’s help and God’s own Son were both rejected by many and are still rejected today. But you can be different. You know that Jesus is the prophet like Moses but better. You know that Jesus offers entrance into that rest that remains for the people of God–Hebrews 4:8-10. You know that you can be baptized into Christ (Romans 6:3-5; Galatians 3:26-27). You know that you can live by faith.
God has sent help. What will you do with Jesus?