Stephen has been brought before the council where the high priest says of the accusations against him, “Are these things so?”
Stephen doesn’t answer the question.
Instead, he pretty much recounts the history of Israel. So far he’s been going for 43 verses and he’s not done yet.
Stephen has memorized huge chunks of Scripture and is repeating passages word for word. Amazing… and convicting.
Stephen talks about Moses who broke up a fight between two Israelites before he left for the desert. Then Moses returns to lead Israel out of Egypt. Stephen recounts the nation’s treatment of Moses:
This Moses, whom they rejected, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge?’—this man God sent as both ruler and redeemer by the hand of the angel who appeared to him in the bush. This man led them out, performing wonders and signs in Egypt andat the Red Sea and in the wilderness forforty years…. But our ancestors refused to obey him. Instead, they rejected him and in their hearts turned back to Egypt. Acts 7: 35-36 ESV, 39 NIV
Moses came first as leader and judge – but was rejected.
So, then he came as leader and savior. You’d think that Israel would be more open to a savior, but, no. They rejected Moses in that role, too.
Stephen goes on to say, “This is the Moses who told the Israelites, ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your own people.’” vs. 37 NIV
And that prophet is the ultimate ruler, judge, and redeemer. Yet like Moses, He was rejected. His rejection led to the cross. Therefore, if by His grace we do not reject Him, His redemption will save us from His judgment.
I’m always in awe of how God ties his the Pentateuch and the New Covenant together.
How blessed Stephen must have felt when he realized that Jesus was the prophet of whom Moses spoke in the words he had memorized.
No wonder Stephen’s “face was like the face of an angel.” Acts 6: 15 NIV
Today’s Readings: 1 Chronicles 13:1-14:117, Psalm 78:1-8, Proverbs 19:20-21, Acts 7:23-43. See About for what I’m up to with these daily posts. Your daily blogger, Holiday Longing (Reproduce with permission only).