37 “This is that Moses who said to the children of Israel, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear.’ 38 “This is he who was in the congregation in the wilderness with the Angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our fathers, the one who received the living oracles to give to us,
Acts 7:37-43 sets forth Israel’s rebellion against God.
“This is that Moses who said to the children of Israel,
Stephen singled out the Moses of the Exodus, whom the nation Israel rejected. The Sanhedrin accused Stephen of rejecting Moses, but Israel had rejected him in a prior generation.
‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear.’
Moses prophesied about another coming Prophet like him, whom Jehovah would bring onto the scene, the Lord Jesus Christ (Deut 18:1). Peter used Deuteronomy 18:5 to refer to the Lord Jesus (Acts 3:22-23). Moses pointed to the Lord Jesus Christ as the ultimate teacher (Jn 5:46).
“This is he who was in the congregation in the wilderness with the Angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our fathers,
This same Moses accompanied Israel during the wilderness wanderings and when an Angel spoke to him on Mount Sinai by giving him revelation from God (Ex 20-31).
The word “congregation” is the Greek word for “church.” However, in this context, the “congregation” refers to the nation of Israel and not the church of the New Testament. The Greek word simply means an assembly. The church did not begin until Acts 2. The congregation in this verse refers to the nation Israel wandering in the wilderness. These people went headlong into apostasy, a rebellion not only against Moses but against God Himself.
the one who received the living oracles
Moses received “living oracles” on Mount Sinai. The Word of God is a “living” entity, a life-giving dynamic (He 4:12). “Oracles” is stronger than “words.” “Oracles” carries the idea of divine authority. The point here is that Moses was not Israel’s ultimate teacher. That was a shock to the Sanhedrin.
to give to us,
Stephen refuted the Sanhedrin’s accusation against him with this statement. The one presently speaking to them was a disciple of Moses; he believed in the first five books of the Bible, the Pentateuch.
History repeats itself.
Every generation misses the lessons of past apostasy. As Israel went into apostasy many times, so the church followed this pattern. Israel of Moses’ day went into depraved apostasy. One aspect of the church of our day, called Progressive Christianity, has rejected the deity of Christ and the Bible as the infallible and inerrant Word of God, among other heresies. Thus, it is an extreme form of apostasy. The apostate church today has forgotten how God changed the lives of so many and delivered them from sin and reprobate lives. The Word of God carries life in itself, which powerfully affects the lives of those who believe it, but the apostate church has rejected this dynamic (He 4:12).