Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Acts 7:9-16


Summary retelling of Acts 7:9-16:

Stephen then advances the timeline of the history of the Hebrew people from Abraham to Joseph.  Stephen reminds the Sanhedrin how in spite of the rejection of his own family that God used that rejection to prosper Joseph, to be with Joseph, and to bring him into the Pharaoh’s house (albeit even that was not a painless journey).  Once Joseph was where God needed him to be, God used Joseph to spare His people from famine even though they had rejected Joseph.  Stephen also remembers that Joseph eventually died and he remains were kept until his people brought him back to the Promised Land when they returned. 

Thoughts for Today:
First Thought:
My first thought is likely going to be a continual “first thought” that is applicable for every day until we finish Acts 7:50.  So I’m going to keep it as a running commentary until we get to verse 50.

Stephen continues to demonstrate mastery over his religious heritage.
  • Day one we see that Stephen was familiar enough with Abraham. 
  • Day two we see that Stephen is familiar enough with Joseph.


Why is it important to realize how important it is that Stephen knows his religious history?  What does knowing the religious history allow Stephen to accomplish?  Do you know the religious history of the Old and New Testaments?  If yes, how can/do you use it?  If no, how can you learn it?

Second Thought:
Stephen spends a reasonable amount to time on the rejection of Joseph by his brothers.  Of course, he does it to set up the fact that “salvation from famine” actually comes through Joseph’s rejection because Joseph is able to go down into Egypt, store up a bunch of grain, and give it to his family when they need it most.  The fact that Joseph is rejected actually leads up to God using the rejected person to bring about salvation in the time of need!

How cool is it to realize that from the very beginning of God’s relationship with “His people” that the concept of salvation through a person who is rejected is a significant theme?  Does this point us at all to understanding Jesus Christ any better?  Is this a topic that you could think about and teach people around you?

Third Thought:
Speaking of rejection and God’s ability to use it … one of the principles that we see throughout the New Testament is that spirituality will conflict with the worldly (sometimes we call that the secular).  Jesus tells us to forsake the world and pursue the Godly things.  We are told to pick up our cross and follow Him.  We are told that if the world has rejected Him, then the world will reject those who follow Him.  Clearly we can see that worldly rejection is often a significant part of the process.

How ready are you to embrace rejection?  Are you willing to be rejected by the world because of your faith?  Would you be more ready if you knew that God could use the world’s rejection of you to demonstrate to the world how even though Jesus was rejected He still brought salvation to the world?

Passage for Tomorrow: Acts 7: 17-23
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