Acts 13:16-18 – Standing up, Paul motioned with his hand and said: “Fellow Israelites and you Gentiles who worship God, listen to me! 17 The God of the people of Israel chose our ancestors; he made the people prosper during their stay in Egypt; with mighty power he led them out of that country; 18 for about forty years he endured their conduct in the wilderness; 19 and he overthrew seven nations in Canaan, giving their land to his people as their inheritance. 20 All this took about 450 years.
“Standing up, Paul motioned with his hand and said: “Fellow Israelites and you Gentiles who worship God, listen to me!’ Paul stood up to preach. That is thought to possibly be the tradition of Hellenist Jews. Certainly Paul wanted their full attention. He wanted them focused and attentive. He had something of eternal value to say. Just as our pastors want our focus and full attention to be on the Word of God as they preach and teach it to us.
“The God of the people of Israel chose our ancestors; he made the people prosper during their stay in Egypt; with mighty power he led them out of that country;” Jesus said to us that we did not choose Him, but that He chose us and appointed us to do His will (John 15:16). 1 Peter 1:2 makes it clear that we did not choose God, but God Himself chose us, He saved us and He keeps us and sanctifies us through Jesus Christ “who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.” God chose and called Abraham (Genesis 12) and it was solely by the will God that He Himself saved the people of Israel as He promised Abraham. Israel was saved by the grace of God. If God had not chosen Abraham, then there would never have been a people of Israel. Israel was saved by the grace from God. Believers in Jesus are saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8-9). So any person who was ever selected, called and kept by God, whether in the Old Testament or the New Testament, has been saved by the love and grace of God. We are all the same. We are all born with the sin nature we inherited from the physical forefather and foremother of all, Adam and Eve. Their sin was passed down to every one of us. So we are all in need of God’s love and grace to save us. After all, remembering His omniscience, it took great love and grace for Him to even create us. If not, we like Abraham, would have remained eternally cursed. Praise God who chose to love us and call us and make us His own. Oh, forever and with all our hearts let us praise God!
When Israel was in another country, in Egypt, God prospered them more than the people of the land. Family, God can prosper us wherever we are (Genesis 47:27). God caused them to prosper so much that the new king grew concerned that they were a possible threat so he put them into slave labor and then ordered the Hebrew midwives to kill the male babies when they were born (Exodus 1:8-16). Kings and governments become proud and think they are the ones who bless people with life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. They are not! It is God who is the ultimate one who blesses us. We may live in a wonderful nation, a great state, a great city or county, and a great neighborhood, but that all is a blessing from God and not something we or anyone else has made happen. Israel, as can we, may look upon a person and declare that blessings have come from them but that has never been so, it has always been the Lord. It is the same thing for us. God is the one from whom all blessings flow (James 1:17). By the will and might of God was Israel brought to Egypt to save them from the famine. By the will of God Israel prospered in Egypt. And by the will and power of God was Israel rescued from Egypt. Joseph and Moses were merely men called by God to do His will.
“for about forty years he endured their conduct in the wilderness; 19 and he overthrew seven nations in Canaan, giving their land to his people as their inheritance.” As the people were rescued from Egypt we see miracle after miracle of God saving the people with His own supernatural signature. Moses was God’s chosen vessel, but there is no doubt that their Rescuer was God. He protected them, fed them, provided water, made their clothes to not wear out and He even, not Israel, was the one responsible for the overthrow of seven nations in Canaan. We obviously see a theme. It is God who does the work and not us as we see in Zechariah 4:6 “…Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord Almighty.”
“All this took about 450 years.” Most like referring to four hundred years in Egypt, forty years wandering in the desert and ten years of acquiring the promised land.
Family, by the will and might of God He created all men and women. Also by His will was Israel created, and by His will did Jesus come to be our Savior and were people called to be the body of Christ. All by His will and might and love. It is all, in hindsight, so easy to see. Paul is about to lecture how Israel was not grateful for all of God’s blessings. May we learn from them. May we look upon our many blessings from God and be thankful to Him and never doubt Him. We know that He has always been faithful to us. Let us not doubt, but praise and give thankfulness and glory to Him. It is right and all who love Him will do so. Praise our God! Praise God!
Psalm 150:6 – Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!
Micah 7:7 – But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.
Micah 6:8 – He has shown You, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of You but to do justly, to love mercy, And to walk humbly with Your God.This entry was posted in Devotion and tagged Acts, Ephesians, Exodus, Genesis, James, John, Micah, Peter, Psalm, Zechariah by Bob with