Steven’s mission in Jerusalem encompassed both the management food distribution to the poor as well as preaching the truth about the resurrected Christ. As part of God’s perfect plan, the disciple’s preaching led him to stand before the Sanhedrin, accused of blasphemy by the Jewish high court.
“1 Then the high priest said, “Are these things so?” 2 And he said, “Brethren and fathers, listen: The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Haran, 3 and said to him, ‘Get out of your country and from your relatives, and come to a land that I will show you.” (Acts 7:1-3)
Steven’s accusers claimed he had spoken blasphemous words against this holy place and the law. The high priest asked the disciple if this was factual. Steven’s response was not surprisingly an exhortation and recapitulation of the holy word, in tune with Jewish history.
“4 Then he came out of the land of the Chaldeans and dwelt in Haran. And from there, when his father was dead, He moved him to this land in which you now dwell.” (Acts 7:4)
Abraham answered God’s calling by leaving Ur, his childhood land located between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers to dwell in Haran for five years, then after his father’s death, he eventually settled in Canaan.
“5 And God gave him no inheritance in it, not even enough to set his foot on. But even when Abraham had no child, He promised to give it to him for a possession, and to his descendants after him.” (Acts 7:5)
Though he was uprooted from his home land, by faith Abraham followed his calling and trusted in God’s promise that one day, his inheritance and that of his descendants would be beyond measure.
“6 But God spoke in this way: that his descendants would dwell in a foreign land, and that they would bring them into bondage and oppress them four hundred years.” (Acts 7:6)
Stephen’s recapitulation matches scripture, in that Abraham’s seed would, for a time dwell in Egypt, then after the Exodus return to the promise land to settle as God’s children. From the time Isaac, Abraham’s son was born to the Exodus was indeed 400 years.
“7 And the nation to whom they will be in bondage I will judge,’ said God, ‘and after that they shall come out and serve Me in this place. 8 Then He gave him the covenant of circumcision; and so Abraham begot Isaac and circumcised him on the eighth day; and Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot the twelve patriarchs.” (Acts 7:7-8)
God’s judgment of Egypt was recorded in scripture, which Stephen mentioned, then he continued his exhortation with Abraham’s lineage and circumcision, a covenant between Jewish men and the heavenly Father demonstrating the genuineness of their faith. Since Jesus was resurrected, the only covenant required of Christians is faith. Let’s pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Luke,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre