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God and History

Collection:
Book of Acts

A Sermon on Acts 7:7-20

‘But I will judge the nation that they serve,’ said God, ‘and after that they shall come out and worship me in this place.’ And he gave him the covenant of circumcision. And so Abraham became the father of Isaac, and circumcised him on the eighth day, and Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob of the twelve patriarchs.

“And the patriarchs, jealous of Joseph, sold him into Egypt; but God was with him and rescued him out of all his afflictions and gave him favor and wisdom before Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who made him ruler over Egypt and over all his household. Now there came a famine throughout all Egypt and Canaan, and great affliction, and our fathers could find no food. But when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent out our fathers on their first visit. And on the second visit Joseph made himself known to his brothers, and Joseph’s family became known to Pharaoh. And Joseph sent and summoned Jacob his father and all his kindred, seventy-five persons in all. And Jacob went down into Egypt, and he died, he and our fathers, and they were carried back to Shechem and laid in the tomb that Abraham had bought for a sum of silver from the sons of Hamor in Shechem.

“But as the time of the promise drew near, which God had granted to Abraham, the people increased and multiplied in Egypt until there arose over Egypt another king who did not know Joseph. He dealt shrewdly with our race and forced our fathers to expose their infants, so that they would not be kept alive. At this time Moses was born; and he was beautiful in God’s sight. And he was brought up for three months in his father’s house, (ESV)

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Acts 7:7–20 is the account of Stephen who made it his goal to preach Jesus as the Messiah. He wanted the Pharisees to see that Jesus was the fulfillment of the Old Testament promises. The points that Stephen makes are important to hear today as many react to these teachings the same way the Sanhedrin did. Listen to “God and History” as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones points out these similarities. First, people are unaware of God’s purposes in history. Too often, they ignore the past and lose sight of God’s plans. History is viewed as the activity of humanity rather than the activity of God. Not only has humanity failed to detect God’s plans, but they have also tried to reject them. Dr. Lloyd-Jones points out how nothing can stop the plans of God. This is seen in the Bible as God’s plans unfold according to His words. Dr. Lloyd-Jones closes by reminding the listener to trust God, knowing that He has established His plans for the future. Christians can live in hope knowing that they will one day spend eternity in heaven with God. He encourages to simply give the time on earth to God and trust in His plans.


Additional Scripture Translations

Acts 7:7-20, New American Standard Bible

7‘And whatever nation to which they are enslaved I Myself will judge,’ said God, ‘and after that they will come out and serve Me in this place.’ 8And He gave him the covenant of circumcision; and so Abraham fathered Isaac, and circumcised him on the eighth day; and Isaac fathered Jacob, and Jacob, the twelve patriarchs.

9“The patriarchs became jealous of Joseph and sold him into Egypt. Yet God was with him, 10and rescued him from all his afflictions, and granted him favor and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and he made him governor over Egypt and his entire household.

11“Now a famine came over all Egypt and Canaan, and great affliction with it, and our fathers could find no food. 12But when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent our fathers there the first time. 13And on the second visit, Joseph made himself known to his brothers, and Joseph’s family was revealed to Pharaoh. 14Then Joseph sent word and invited his father Jacob and all his relatives to come to him, seventy-five people in all. 15And Jacob went down to Egypt, and he and our fathers died there. 16And they were brought back from there to Shechem and laid in the tomb which Abraham had purchased for a sum of money from the sons of Hamor in Shechem.

17“But as the time of the promise which God had assured to Abraham was approaching, the people increased and multiplied in Egypt, 18until another king arose over Egypt who did not know Joseph. 19It was he who shrewdly took advantage of our nation and mistreated our fathers in order that they would abandon their infants in the Nile, so that they would not survive. 20At this time Moses was born; and he was beautiful to God. He was nurtured for three months in his father’s home.

Acts 7:7-20, King James Version

7And the nation to whom they shall be in bondage will I judge, said God: and after that shall they come forth, and serve me in this place. 8And he gave him the covenant of circumcision: and so Abraham begat Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat the twelve patriarchs. 9And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt: but God was with him, 10And 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. 11Now there came a dearth over all the land of Egypt and Chanaan, and great affliction: and our fathers found no sustenance. 12But when Jacob heard that there was corn in Egypt, he sent out our fathers first. 13And at the second time Joseph was made known to his brethren; and Joseph’s kindred was made known unto Pharaoh. 14Then sent Joseph, and called his father Jacob to him, and all his kindred, threescore and fifteen souls. 15So Jacob went down into Egypt, and died, he, and our fathers, 16And were carried over into Sychem, and laid in the sepulchre that Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of Emmor the father of Sychem. 17But when the time of the promise drew nigh, which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt, 18Till another king arose, which knew not Joseph. 19The 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. 20In which time Moses was born, and was exceeding fair, and nourished up in his father’s house three months:


About Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.