Rights To The Land
Two thousand years ago Rome was the Super Power who ruled the world. They claimed ultimate authority over the Land of Israel, but in his defense before the Sanhedrin Stephen reminded the Jewish leaders that their history from the time of Abraham to the Exile revealed that there was someone else actually calling the shots.
“But our forefathers refused to obey Moses but they rejected him and turned back to Egypt in their hearts saying to Aaron, ‘Make for us gods who will go before us. As for this Moses, the one who led us out of the land of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.’ In those days they manufactured a golden calf and offered sacrifices to the idol. They reveled in the works of their hands. So God turned away and handed them over to serve the host of heaven, as it is written in the book of the prophets,
“Did you bring me slain beasts and sacrifices during the forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel? You took up the tabernacle of Moloch and the star of your god, Rephan, the idols you made to worship. Therefore I deported you into exile beyond Babylon.” (Amos 5:25-27) Acts 7:39-43
Stephen is clear. The God who appeared to Moses and spoke to him at Mt. Sinai is the One who decides who gets to live in the Promised Land and who gets deported. When Israel broke the first and second commandment and worshipped stuff they had made, danced with joy before immoral fertility gods, and then burned their children in sacrifices to gods like Moloch* and Rephan, they got deported. Their example warns me. Don’t pour out my life and energy for stuff made by human hands. Don’t live for the pleasures of sex believing she’s a goddess who brings eternal pleasure, and don’t conclude that nature itself is the source of life.
LORD, help me to bow before you alone today and allow your Spirit to generate obedience in my heart and actions. Move hearts in Israel, Gaza, the West Bank, and from coast to coast in the U.S. to turn to Jesus, the Savior Stephen proclaimed was the One who can deliver us from bowing before false gods.
*Note: Moloch, the Canaanite deity, was worshipped by burning their children as a sacrifice to this idol (Deuteronomy 12:31). Satan hates children in the womb and out of the womb and wants to take their lives.
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