Moses Episode 2: Rejection Leads to Rejection
Beginning in verse 35, Stephen refers to Moses with a series of demonstrative pronouns over 4 verses and then in verse 39 he switches to the objective pronoun, to him. The whole construction is designed to highlight the uniqueness of Moses in his divine office and calling as Israel’s deliverer –this man– and the aggravation of the sin of God’s people in rejecting one uniquely called and adorned with so many tokens of heavens call upon him –to him they refused obedience–. Stephen’s point in appealing to Moses’ unique calling and Israel’s stubborn rejection is to show his contemporaries that in rejecting Jesus Christ they are acting just like their fathers did. The story not only records and accounts for this rejection it also speaks to the divine response which was the rejection of the impenitent covenant people and the handing them over to the pursuit of their own sins. This story of rejection leading to rejection stands as a warning to all who profess faith that they may turn away from the attitudes which have ensnared covenant people in past generations and have led to their spiritual ruin.