Acts 7 “History is His-story.”
Someone has said, “History is His-story,” the story of God working in history. In Acts 7, Stephen reviewed the history of the Jewish role in bringing the Christ, the promised Son of man, into the world as the Savior of the world. Stephen had been charged with speaking evil of Moses and God (Acts 6:11). In Acts 7, he spoke in his defense before the Jewish Sanhedrin, which was acting as a court. He began with God’s promises to Abraham to make him into a nation and to bless the peoples of the world through one particular child or descendant of Abraham (the promises are found in Genesis 12). He then reviewed God’s gracious, patient actions through history to keep His promises to Abraham. The audience of the Sanhedrin quietly listened, even through a review of the Israelites’ rebellion, led by religious leaders, against God’s leadership through Moses (7:39-42) and the prophets throughout their history (7:43).
But attitudes changed when Stephen accused the leaders and people of resisting the Spirit of God and being like their fathers who opposed and even killed the prophets. And now, he said, they have killed the Righteous One, the One sent in fulfillment of God’s promise to bless the peoples of the world through a descendant of Abraham. In response, the Sanhedrin violated all proper legal procedure, removed him from the city and stoned him to death.
Stephen had a short but powerful history, one recorded in the pages of Scripture as a challenge and inspiration. How has God acted in your story? Take a few moments to review your story. When was He especially patient and gracious? Have there been times of rebellion? All of us are leaders, influencing someone. In what direction are you leading? With God? Opposing Him? How is God working in your story today? Then praise Him today.