Cannon, shiny, one each.
Tuesday, 3 May 2022
“But he who did his neighbor wrong pushed him away, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge over us? Acts 7:27
Note: You can listen to today’s commentary courtesy of our friends at “Bible in Ten” podcast. (Click Here to listen)
You can also read this commentary, with music, courtesy of our friends at “Discern the Bible” on YouTube. (Click Here to listen), or at Rumble (Click Here to listen).
The previous verse had Moses trying to reconcile the Israelites who were fighting. That now continues with, “But he who did his neighbor wrong.”
In the commentary of the previous verse, a proverb was cited, warning people to not get involved in a quarrel that is not their own. The reason is that one or both of the people are bound to turn and bite at you. In this case, it is the one who was the wrongdoer in the argument. He is obviously a bully, and he has taken offense at someone attempting to correct his wrongdoing. With his state of anger turned towards Moses, it says he then “pushed him away.”
This is not recorded in the Exodus account –
“And when he went out the second day, behold, two Hebrew men were fighting, and he said to the one who did the wrong, ‘Why are you striking your companion?’
14 Then he said, ‘Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you intend to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?’” Exodus 2:13, 14
Stephen’s words are as much a theological addition as anything else. A main point of what he is conveying is the rebellious nature of Israel in general, especially to those in authority over them or those who are willing to guide and instruct them, most especially the Lord.
In His incarnation, this is exactly what they had done. They had “pushed him away,” rejecting His appointed authority over them. The similarity continues with the final words of the verse, where Stephen says this bully was “saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge over us?’”
It was obvious that Moses was in a place of authority, even if it was only based on his adopted family’s status. His position, then, entitled him a level of respect not seen in his treatment by this miscreant. But this person’s actions are recorded specifically as a type of all of Israel throughout their history, pushing the authority of Moses (meaning the law that came through him) away. In this, they “pushed away” the authority of the Lord who gave that law through Moses.
Further, they “pushed away” the Lord Jesus who not only fulfilled the law but who then initiated a New Covenant in His blood. They rejected Him as their ruler, and they rejected Him as their judge. Ironically, in rejecting Jesus, they fell back on Moses (meaning the law), the same leader they had constantly rejected over their entire history –
“Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you—Moses, in whom you trust. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” John 5:45-47
Life application: As a reminder to each of us, we need to not assume that we are any better than Israel. We read the words of the Old Testament, and even into the New, and we say, “Boy, they really were a disobedient nation. They rejected Moses and went their own way constantly.” This is true, they did. But Moses’ words came from the Lord.
Today, we have the word of the Lord through the apostles. And yet, do we faithfully follow what He says? Even on the best of days, we fall short of all that is expected of us. Some more than others. But when we are not obedient to what is given in the epistles, we are just like Israel.
Let us consider this, especially in 1) adding to the word things that are not in the word – pet peeves, legalistic precepts, and so on, 2) taking from the word (meaning not doing) things that are explicit, and 3) mishandling the word by not following sound rules of biblical interpretation. We must be especially careful to KNOW THE WORD, or we can never do these things with any reliability. Our doctrine will be at the whims of whatever we are told, but it will not be backed up with our own knowledge of whether what we are told is actually correct or not.
Glorious Heavenly Father, thank You for Your grace and tender mercy upon us through the giving of Your Son. Help us to show our thanks by desiring to know more about Him, about what He has done, and about how that knowledge comes through knowing Your word. May it be so, to Your glory. Amen.