Stephen is still defending himself by working his way through the Israel’s history. After Moses was misunderstood and opposed by his people, he fled to Midian. “Now when forty years had passed, an angel appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, in a flame of fire in a bush”(Acts 7:30). Even though the people had rejected him, God had not. “When Moses saw it, he was amazed at the sight, and as he drew near to look, there came the voice of the Lord: ‘I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob.’ And Moses trembled and did not dare to look”(Acts 7:31-32). God allowed Moses to draw near to the bush and spoke to him because God had a job for him to do.
God spoke further: “Take off the sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and have heard their groaning, and I have come down to deliver them. And now come, I will send you to Egypt”(Acts 7:33-34). God’s words reveal what he sees and hears: the affliction of his people and their groaning. No one noticed Israel and their hardship in Egypt, but God did. God came down to deliver them—using the man they had already rejected.
Stephen’s words underscore the compassionate awareness of God. While there is nothing he does not see or hear, he seems to be particularly attuned to the cry of the helpless, overlooked, and oppressed. In such cases, he even sometimes “comes down to deliver them”—through miracles or through human intervention. But whatever our temptation, worry, or hardship, we can be certain that God sees and hears.
One thing to think about: Do I believe that God sees and cares about the things I am dealing with this week?
One thing to pray for: God’s ear and help in times of need
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