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READING: Acts 7 – Stephen’s Defense

Verse of the Day: “Lord, do not hold this sin against them. When he said this, he died.” (Acts 7:60) 

Stephen preached in the Freedmen’s synagogue; people argued and lied, “We heard him blaspheme Moses and God.” This is background from chapter six for chapter seven. 

The High Priest asked, “Are these things so?” Then Stephen made his defense, beginning with Abraham and God calling him from Mesopotamia. He traced the history of the Jewish nation from that point forward. 

 Abraham moved to Haran; when his father died, God sent him to the land of Canaan, “But He did not give him any of it, but promised He would give it to him and his descendants.”  

God said his descendants would aliens in another country four hundred years. Abraham fathered Isaac, Isaac fathered Jacob, Jacob fathered the twelve patriarchs. These, jealous of Joseph, sold him into Egypt. God was with Joseph, and he became ruler over Egypt. A famine came over Egypt and Canaan; Jacob heard Egypt had food; he sent the ten older brothers for food. 

Joseph recognized them, but they didn’t recognize him. On their second visit, he made himself known to them, and invited the family to move to Egypt. As time came near for fulfilling the promise God made Abraham, a new Pharaoh who did not know Joseph forced them to abandon their infants to die.   

Moses’ parents hid him three months before exposing him; Pharaoh’s daughter adopted him. He was instructed in all the Egyptian learning. When forty years-old, “He visited his Hebrew relatives.” He saw an Egyptian abusing an Israelite and killed him, burying him in sand. The next day he saw two Israelites fighting. He tried to stop their fight, but one said, “Who made you a ruler and judge over us? Will you kill me as you killed the Egyptian?” Knowing his deed was known, he fled to Midian where he kept sheep forty years. 

God spoke from a burning bush and sent him to Egypt to lead Israel to Canaan. It was Moses they rejected, saying, “Who made you a Ruler and Judge,” God sent to be ruler and liberator. He led Israel, performing wonders at the Red Sea. “This Moses, God told He would raise up a prophet like Him.” The ancestors weren’t willing to obey him, wanting to return to Egypt.  

They built the tabernacle in the wilderness; Joshua brought it with the people when he dispossessed the Canaanites. It was there until David prepared for Solomon to build the Temple. 

Stephen said, “You stiff-necked, uncircumcised in heart people, you oppose the Holy Spirit as your ancestors did. They killed those who foretold the coming Righteous One. You have become His murderers.” Hearing this, they became enraged. Stephen, looking into Heaven, said, “I see the Son of Man standing at God’s right hand!” 

They rushed him, dragging him outside the city, where they stoned him. He prayed, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them,” and died. 

Witnesses laid garments at Saul of Tarsus’s feet, who consented to his death. 

What would you or I pray in Stephen’s place? 



Father, I am horrified at how they treated Stephen. Yet, I know people are still being persecuted daily somewhere in this world of evil. I pray, that should a time come when I may face death unless I would deny Jesus, I pray that I would die rather than deny Him This is my prayer in the name of Jesus, my Savior who gave His all for me, AMEN! 

MY PRAYER FOR YOU (and for me) 

Father, I pray for all who may read these words, and for myself, that we may think about Stephen and his confrontation with Saul of Tarsus, who seems to be the prime perpetrator of Stephen’s murder. Stephen’s prayer as he died must have made an impact on Saul, who in the next chapter is on a rampage to destroy the church. Today, we do not kill our enemies; we merely ‘write them up’ in scandalous papers to destroy their influence and reputation. May none of us ever stoop to such chicanery, is my prayer, in the name of Jesus, AMEN! 

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