God and History
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)
In Acts 7:7-20, we find 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 for us to hear, also, because many people today are reacting to these teachings the same way the Sanhedrin did. Listen as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones points out these similarities. First, we are unaware of God’s purposes in history. Too often, people ignore the past and and lose sight of God’s plans. We see history as the activity of man rather than the activity of God. Not only has mankind failed to detect God’s plans, but they have also tried to reject them. However, Dr. Lloyd-Jones points out how nothing can stop the plans of God. We can see this in the Bible as God’s plans unfold according to His Words. Dr. Lloyd-Jones closes by reminding us to trust God, knowing that He has established His plans for the future. We as Christians can live in hope knowing that we will one day spend eternity in heaven with God. He encourages us to simply give our time on earth to God and trust in His plans.
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.