Tag: Stephen’s message
Scripture reading for June 9th: Acts 7:1-29
The story of one of the seven deacons, Stephen, is interesting. Stephen was full of faith and the Holy Spirit and God used him in miraculous signs and wonders. You would think that this would make him a popular preacher, but there were those religious Jews that did not appreciate his message or miracles. They stirred up some people to testify falsely that he was speaking blasphemy against Moses and God. (Acts 6:11-14) They brought him before the Sanhedrin for questioning. As they looked at him, Stephen’s face took on the characteristics of an angel.
When asked if he were guilty of the charges, Stephen began to speak under the anointing of the Holy Spirit. He was a young man who spoke respectfully to the elders and leaders he was standing before. He spoke about the Holy Scriptures that Moses had written, showing his knowledge and respect for that written record. He began in Genesis with Abraham and God’s call and quickly took them through the history of the Jewish people up to the time of Moses.
As Stephen mentioned the story of Joseph, he emphasized how the patriarchs were jealous of him and sold him into slavery. Stephen was trying to get these religious leaders to see that their own jealousy of God’s plan and vision through Christ was a problem. (Acts 7:9-10) God raised Joseph up to be ruler over Egypt and the one who would save Israel and the world from a great famine.
Moses was also raised up by the hand of God and raised in Pharaoh’s household. He was a Jew but given all the wisdom of the Egyptians. At forty years of age, he saw an Israelite being mistreated by and Egyptian and killed the Egyptian. Moses was surprised to learn that his act was not appreciated by the Israelites! He fled to Midian for forty years and tended sheep while the vision to deliver God’s people went dormant. (Acts 7:20-29)
God was trying to speak to these Jews who were jealous of the power of this follower of Jesus. He was showing them that the Jews had a history of missing what God was doing. He wanted them to listen and learn from the past. These Old Testament stories showed truth. Are you open to learn today? Are you reading God’s word with a teachable heart? God is speaking today!