I have seen, I have seen the affliction of my people which is in Egypt, and I have heard their groaning, and am come down to deliver them. And now come, I will send thee into Egypt. This Moses whom they refused, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge? the same did God send to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the angel which appeared to him in the bush.
Long before, God had had the answer for the suffering of Israel. He had heard their cries and knew their need, and in the set time, He sent a deliverer. He had the solution for their problem. It ended up being the one they had previously rejected. The same Moses who they had once refused to have as ruler and judge would be the one to lead them out of Egypt and into the promised land.
This is an important part of Stephen’s story as he relays Israel’s history because he will be getting to the point very soon that God again came down to deliver His people in the form of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. He had seen the affliction of mankind caused by sin, and it grieved His heart. He knew the struggle that it was, and so He delivers when it is time. He’d had His plan in the works all along. He knew what He was going to do. And the greatest deliverance in the history of the world was accomplished through His Son.
Jesus was the answer, the promised one who would come after Moses. He follows in the footsteps of Joseph, Moses, and Joshua, deliverers of the nation. He comes through the line of David and Solomon, a King to His people. All of those men were rejected in some way by their brethren, and Jesus would be, too. But even so, He is the one who accomplishes the great work of redemption. And if they would accept Him now, He would give them life and set them free from their sin.
Jesus came to be our deliverer. At the set time, He was born into our world. He lived a sinless life pleasing to God and offered Himself on the cross to pay for our sins. He rose again and conquered death. And He will set us free from our captivity if we don’t reject Him. He will be our King and our Lord if we will have Him to reign over us. If we do accept Him, we may be rejected, too, by a misunderstanding world. But may that not hinder us from continuing to follow our deliverer wherever He would have us to go. May we be faithful to our God who set us free from our affliction.