Summary: Stephen in his oration of preaching refers to the lives of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and twelve patriarchs, and how they had faith in God for the promise of God. Read further to know more.
Acts 7:1-50 Core Points of Stephen
7:01-19 History of Patriarchs
7:20-41 History of Exodus and Wilderness
7:42-50 History of Exile and Babylon
Acts 7:1-19 History of Patriarchs
Stephen in his oration of preaching refers to the lives of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and twelve patriarchs, and how they had faith in God for the promise of God. Stephen mentions there is a gap between the promise and its fulfillment. The mystery is God never placed Israelites directly on the land of Canaan rather he took them to Egypt and wanted to punish Egyptians and all other nations around Canaan for their arrogance, idolatry, and evil practices of the social and economic arena. Abraham was brought out and led by God to the land of Canaan after a stopover in Haran. Stephen emphasizes the fight, and jealousy of patriarchs in his narration.
These characters of Patriarchs brought blindness in their hearts not to know the will of God, and the purpose of God. There is a gap between promise and possession but patience will prove the fidelity of man to God. God never gives anyone any valuables till that person realizes its worth. The obedient faith with the sacred life of one man is enough for God to fulfill his promise for the believers’ community.
Acts 7:20-41 History of Exodus and wilderness
Moses was well-pleasing to God as a child, he was adopted by Pharaoh’s Daughter with all the rights to live, learn the wisdom and skills of Egypt. He was mighty in words and deeds. When he was forty years, he was inspired in his heart to visit his suffering nieces and nephew. He thought that his brothers would understand him as their redeemer leader. But he has pushed aside and threatened. He fled the scene and took refuge in the land of Midian, and coolly settled with a wife and two sons.
Moses experienced rejection and insults; he was not accepted by them as a ruler and judge. So, he ran away from the responsibility or he had moved ahead of God’s timing. The appearance of the Angel of God and the changing course of lifestream of Moses and Israel connected to the future prophet, ruler, and Judge Jesus Christ. The essence of Exodus and Wilderness is referred to as Christ. So Stephen presented this part more eloquently.
Acts 7:42-50 History of Settlement and Exile
God leaves the followers according to their heart's desire and plan if they go beyond mending status. An unwillingness to amenable attitude leads to the destruction of self and nation. Hence, God turned away from them and handed over them to worship the host of heaven. The existence of cosmic powers of this present darkness and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places is an undeniable fact (Ephesians 6:12).
The story of Israel was full of rebellion, disbelief, turning away from God regardless of experiencing the miracles, powers, and greatness of God in their day to day lives during the wilderness journey. Moses spoke and enacted the house of testimony according to the pattern he had seen or shown to him by God. But they denied everything and have done recklessly everything according to their evil designs. They brought it into the Promised Land and worshipped. In the same manner, the present Sanhedrin rejected the new Moses Jesus who brought everything from heavenly conversations and he taught them what he learned from the Father by day-to-day experiences.
1. How to read the historical events with messianic prophecies in our day to day world events?
(Please refer to the other sermons for the series in the study of Acts of the Apostles)