A Blind World
A Sermon on Acts 7:8-15
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, (ESV)
Repeatedly the New Testament points back to individuals from the Old Testament to demonstrate a life of saving faith. As Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones continues the study of Acts 7, it is in Joseph that we see a kind of Christ. Joseph was hated and betrayed by his brothers for no other reason than their jealousy and anger. But in a few years’ time, it was his brothers that came to him seeking help and relief from the famine. In a similar way, Jesus was persecuted, betrayed and ultimately murdered because the Jewish leaders were jealous. But the great irony is that the Jewish leaders murdered their own long-awaited Messiah, the very One who came to save them from their sins! Lloyd-Jones points out that this rejection of God and His will demonstrates the spiritual blindness and rebellion that propel opposition to the Gospel. It is not a clear and rational thought, but blind prejudice that has its source in the sinful hearts of men who will not submit to God’s ways. This must always be in mind when we see unbelief and opposition to the Gospel. For it is not a matter of intelligent and reasonable methods that prompt men to harden their hearts when they hear of Christ and his death and resurrection. But it is sin and unbelief. It is only by the power of the Holy Spirit that anyone can come to a true knowledge of God.