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Acts Reading Plan | Week 6 | Day 2
Psalm 100:5 says, “For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” Thank God that as you come to meet with Him, you know you can trust Him because he has been faithful in every generation and that His love endures forever.
Bible Reading: Acts 7:1-16
Read these verses three times slowly.
Then the high priest asked Stephen, “Are these charges true?”
To this he replied: “Brothers and fathers, listen to me! The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham while he was still in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Harran. ‘Leave your country and your people,’ God said, ‘and go to the land I will show you.’
“So he left the land of the Chaldeans and settled in Harran. After the death of his father, God sent him to this land where you are now living. He gave him no inheritance here, not even enough ground to set his foot on. But God promised him that he and his descendants after him would possess the land, even though at that time Abraham had no child. God spoke to him in this way: ‘For four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated. But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves,’ God said, ‘and afterward they will come out of that country and worship me in this place.’ Then he gave Abraham the covenant of circumcision. And Abraham became the father of Isaac and circumcised him eight days after his birth. Later Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob became the father of the twelve patriarchs.
“Because the patriarchs were jealous of Joseph, they sold him as a slave into Egypt. But God was with him and rescued him from all his troubles. He gave Joseph wisdom and enabled him to gain the goodwill of Pharaoh king of Egypt. So Pharaoh made him ruler over Egypt and all his palace. “Then a famine struck all Egypt and Canaan, bringing great suffering, and our ancestors could not find food.When Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent our forefathers on their first visit. On their second visit, Joseph told his brothers who he was, and Pharaoh learned about Joseph’s family. After this, Joseph sent for his father Jacob and his whole family, seventy-five in all. Then Jacob went down to Egypt, where he and our ancestors died. Their bodies were brought back to Shechem and placed in the tomb that Abraham had bought from the sons of Hamor at Shechem for a certain sum of money.
Reflection & Questions
As Stephen replies to the charges against him, he begins to explain the story of the Jewish faith. Over the next few days we are going to see him explain that Jesus’ coming and what is happening in the believers, is all a fulfillment of the Jewish faith. That what he is teaching is from God Himself.
He begins with the story of the father of the Jewish faith, Abraham, who was obedient to God’s call and believed God’s promise that God would raise up a nation from him. Abraham had a son named Isaac, Isaac had a son named Jacob. Jacob, whose name would be changed later to Israel, had 12 sons, who became the 12 tribes of Israel. One of those sons was Joseph, who was sold into slavery in Egypt. Joseph through a series of events went from slave to ruler in Egypt, second only to Pharaoh, and saved his family and the whole of Egypt from famine.
Stephen continues the story of Israel tomorrow. For now, did you notice the beautiful line in Stephen’s speech about God’s faithfulness to Joseph? He says, “God was with him and rescued him from all his troubles.” That is our amazing God! He does that same today – through all generations. He was faithful to Joseph and He will be faithful to us. Whatever you face today, it doesn’t change the fact that God is with you. And He will be faithful to help you.
- Why do you think Stephen is going back to Abraham and the story of the Jewish faith as he stands up to the religious leaders? How does it encourage you that our faith is an ancient faith?
- Where do you need rescuing right now?
Talk to God in response to today’s reading.
You might use this song today to worship Jesus today:
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